Dow Corning Makes Big Investment in Renewable Energy

Dow Corning Corporation announced an agreement to purchase more than 14,000 megawatt hours of wind generated renewable energy through Consumers Energy's Green Generation program, making Dow Corning one of the largest private purchasers of renewable energy in the State of Michigan. By using wind generated electricity, approximately 10,000 tons of CO2 will be prevented from being released into the environment.

The amount of energy purchased through this agreement is equivalent to nearly 100 percent of the electrical load required at Dow Corning’s Corporate Headquarters in Midland, Mich., a site with more than 1100 employees and home to the company’s technically sophisticated global research and development center. The amount of energy required to power the site is equivalent to the needs of 1,700 Michigan homes each year.

“This underscores Dow Corning’s leadership and commitment beyond the production of components for all types of solar applications to the use of renewable energy to meet our power needs,” said Marie Eckstein (PDF size = 60 KB), Dow Corning Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. “These kinds of steps benefit our nation and our state in several ways: producing alternative energy jobs in Michigan, providing a reliable source of clean energy, and demonstrating the potential of partnerships to address serious energy issues.”

“We are very pleased that Dow Corning is now the largest private participant in our Green Generation program,” said John G. Russell, Consumers Energy’s president and chief operating officer. “The leadership demonstrated by Dow Corning is consistent with its cutting-edge manufacturing of solar applications and technology.”

Consumers Energy’s Green Generation program was the first voluntary renewable energy program in Michigan, and one of the most successful in the country. The program was authorized by the Michigan Public Service Commission and launched in 2005.

Dow Corning, which is a leading provider of materials to the solar and wind energy industries, also announced that it is investigating the installation of a solar array at its corporate headquarters. In addition to generating power, solar panels at the site will be used to test products, and to demonstrate the potential of alternative energy to area students and the general public.

Dow Corning has turned to renewable forms of energy to help power other sites around the world, including two of its largest manufacturing sites in Europe. In Wiesbaden, Germany, more than 1,000 square meters of solar panels have been installed on the roof and facades of office and production buildings generating enough electricity to power 35 households for an entire year. In Seneffe, Belgium, preparations are being made to install a turbine to harness wind power and generate electricity equivalent to 100 households for an entire year.

Dow Corning’s renewable energy expertise also found a home at Dow Diamond, a minor league baseball stadium in Midland, Michigan. Dow Corning, together with its joint venture Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation, donated 168 solar panels that produce nearly 30 kilowatt hours of electricity at their peak output.

The panels produce enough electricity to fully power the stadium’s large electronic video screen and scoreboard.

Consumers Energy also purchases electricity for the program from Michigan’s largest commercial wind facility, John Deere Renewable Energy’s Michigan Wind Park I, and also buys electricity generated by two wind turbines near Mackinaw City. All of the projects are located in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and all sources are Green-e certified as renewable.

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