Kansas flour mill to use wind turbine for energy needs
by Eric Schroeder
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HUDSON, KAS. — Stafford County Flour Mills Co. has begun installing a wind turbine, a move that would make it the first commercial flour mill in North America to use wind power generated electricity produced on-site. The installation of a wind turbine will allow Stafford County Flour Mills to offset retail energy rates and lower carbon emissions, the company said.
Joining Stafford County Flour Mills in the effort are Gamesa Technology Corp., Inc. and its partner, Harvest the World Network (H.T.W.N.). Stafford County will use the Gamesa G58-850 kW turbine to supply electricity directly to its plant in Hudson. H.T.W.N. is a primary distributor of Gamesa’s family of G5x-850 kW turbines for community and distributed wind energy projects. H.T.W.N.’s regional partner, Sustainable Energy Developments, designed, permitted and will install the G58-850 kW turbine on a 55-meter tower.
“Stafford County Flour Mills physically sits in one of the best wind corridors in the United States and so it was only natural that we seek an opportunity to procure our energy responsibly and reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy while fixing one of our key input costs in flour milling,” said Reuel Foote, president of Stafford County Flour Mills. “With this project now under way, we’re excited to see what we can achieve with Gamesa and Harvest the World Network in doing our part in adopting cleaner power energy.”
Built in 1909 by the Gustav Krug family, Stafford County Flour Mill has daily wheat flour capacity of 2,400 cwts and storage capacity of 3.4 million bus, according to the Grain & Milling Annual 2013 published by Sosland Publishing Co. The company makes flour under the Hudson Cream and Diamond H label, as well as flour for private label distribution.
In late April, McLean, Va.-based Mars, Inc. announced it was partnering with Sumitomo Corp. of Americas to develop a wind farm that will generate 100% of the electricity needs for its U.S. operations, comprised of 70 sites, including 37 factories. It is the largest long-term commitment to renewable energy use by a U.S. food manufacturing business and moves Mars toward its goal of achieving more sustainable operations and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
In 2012, Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. announced the start of operations at the Piedra Larga Wind Farm, a sustainability project that will generate power equivalent to all the electricity the company uses at its plants in Mexico. The farm has a capacity of 90 megawatts — 45 wind turbines with 2 megawatts apiece. Initially the farm will supply more than 40 Bimbo facilities around the country with electric power.