Investing in alternate energy sources, including solar energy, is essential to reach our goal of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2035. With facilities worldwide, we’re taking a thoughtful approach to where we can successfully impact GHG emissions the most. For example, Kohler’s Spartanburg, South Carolina, facility, averages 225 days of sunshine each year, ideal for a solar panel array.
Today more than 4,000 panels produce nearly 1.6 million kilowatt hours annually of power for the Spartanburg plant. Thanks to solar energy, we can reduce the amount of power supplied by our local utility by nine percent. Additionally, in Beijing, China, nearly 650 solar panels generate over 126,000 kilowatt hours annually.
In the United Kingdom, Kohler’s shower manufacturer Mira is leading the company's charge into solar energy. The team has installed more than 1,300 solar panels at two locations, which generate over 232,000 kilowatts hours of power. In the first year of use, the 925 solar panels installed at the Hull location created enough energy to power 663,000 light bulbs for a day. The panels prevented 85 tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted, the equivalent of planting 285 trees. In Cheltenham, where Mira is based, 462 solar panels reduced the plant's GHG emissions by 17 percent. That's 46 tons.
And as we look to Kohler’s headquarters in Kohler, Wis., the switch will soon be flipped for a 2.25-megawatt ground-mounted solar system on ten acres of land. In collaboration with the local electric utility Alliant Energy, we kicked the project off in the summer of 2021 and launched a community clean power partnership. It not only will help reduce Kohler’s environmental impact, but also will bring a valuable, long-term clean energy benefit to the local area. Over 9,000 solar panels have been installed, which provide enough power to meet the energy needs of 580 local homes.
As we look to the future, additional solar projects are in the works at various locations from the United Kingdom to South Korea. Each project plays a major role in reducing GHG emissions across the globe for a better planet.