Kettle Foods Installs 18 Small Turbines


I love these chips.  Oregon-based Kettle Foods just received the LEED Gold certification for their new 73,000 sf chip facility in Beloit, Wisconsin.  As you would expect with a LEED certified building, it has a lot of green aspects, including energy-efficient equipment, water filtration and conservation equipment, and low-VOC, healthy materials.  They also installed 18 wind turbines on the roof, which, according to a press release, will generate enough electricity to produce 56,000 bags of chips every year.

More precisely, those 18 Aerovironment parapet wind turbines are projected to produce 28,000 kilowatt hours of power per year under normal wind conditions. 

The turbine design is gaining in popularity and has received critical praise, receiving the Red Dot International Design award and a 2007 Annual Design Review award.  It's meant for quick, easy installations on new or existing tilt-up or pre-cast buildings, and several companies are starting to experiment with the product. 




[+] Read more about this AeroVironment installation.


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  • Jay

    they sell those at costco right? i think i had a sample.

  • Denis

    I saw this company’s presentation at Power-Gen Renewables last year. They’ve given serious thought to the problems — wind flows oddly off the face of a building — and introduced a leading-edge product line. Like laying thin-film solar flat on a Wal-Mart roof, a little efficiency is better than none. And 18 visible props are better PR than invisible PV. It’s up to the owner to secure wind easements across its neighbors.

  • Christopher Haase

    What I would like to see is a ROI (Return on Investment) study of these projects.

    Here in Wisconsin, wind and solar are fools gold when compared to traditional geothermal, thermoelectric and co-generation industrial gains.

    While “wind and solar” are MAJOR ROI projects for the southwest and southeast coasts… Wisconsin has very limited “wind and solar” capacity.

    However, Wisconsin like many naturally gifted northern states has nearly “unlimited” sources of renewable energy that have 2-3 year ROI’s.

    Typically large scale manufacturing facilities utilize co-generation equipment and building geothermal heat sources before investing $1,000’s in “low yield” systems (largest annual bills for manufacturing).

    Just running a packaging or automated bagger for a week can blow through a years worth of “wind and solar” power in Wisconsin.

    But, Kettle Foods’ has really done a great job all around.
    • Filtering and reusing wash watery
    • Offsetting 100 percent of electricity use with renewable wind power
    • Converting used cooking oil into biodiesel
    • Dedicating five acres to restoration of native prairie land
    • Sourcing more than 35 percent of building materials from within 500 miles of the project site
    • Protecting indoor air quality with Green Seal building material and extensive ventilation for fresh air
    • Providing quality work environments with natural light and outdoor views for all workers

    They really lead by example.

    I only recommend them using geothermal and co-generation resources because they appear to be the kind of company who “gets it”.


  • potatohead

    56000 bags of chips isnt very much. Not sure of the size of their plant, but its probably comparable to the output of one 8 hour shift worth of production

  • Uncle B

    18 Turbines Produce 56k Bags of Really Good Chips!
    Every amount , no matter how small, that goes towards ending the tyrannical OPEC stranglehold on the U.S.A. and the free world, is a step towards a better life for all humanity. We can’t bring democracy to a starving, disorganized world if we are constantly blackmailed for our way of life. We need to overcome oil dependence. We need to rise above the V-8 gasoline engine and electrify the world, with electric cars! This is one step in the right direction, What have you done today to get free?

  • Andrea

    You need to check and correct some important figures in this article:
    Per Kettle Foods website the 18 AeroVironment wind turbines produce 2,200 kWh per year, not 28,000 kWh per year.

    Per the dashboard on the site they have produced 5,360 kWh since installation in September 2007.

    Nevertheless, I commend KF for their considerable and ongoing efforts. Important to mention their 114kW PV system on their Portland OR facility.

  • Preston

    Andrea, thanks for the update, but those figures are direct from AeroVironment from 2007. The press release is still active and linked above.

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