Renewable Energy Tops Intel Headquarters

From its top spot on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership list to its ranking on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Intel has a history of “topping” when it comes to environmental sustainability. But today, Intel is topping its headquarters in Santa Clara, California with something a little different – one of the world’s largest operating rooftop arrays of wind micro-turbines.

Intel’s newest renewable energy installation consists of 58 micro-turbines – each measuring between 6 and 7 feet tall – spanning the roof of its headquarters. Based on average local wind speed, we expect the micro-turbines to generate power about 65% of the time, most likely during the often-breezy afternoon hours. The micro-turbines are JLM Energy Inc.’s “Zefr” model, a small and efficient unit that offers ease of application, making them very versatile.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on the roof of Intel's headquarters Robert Noyce Building checking out the company's new wind micro-turbines. Intel is installing a total of 58 micro-turbines as part of a pilot wind power project. With Krzanich is Josh Beckwith, construction project manager with JLM Energy, the Rocklin California company that built and is installing the micro-turbines.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on the roof of Intel’s headquarters Robert Noyce Building checking out the company’s new wind micro-turbines. Intel is installing a total of 58 micro-turbines as part of a pilot wind power project. With Krzanich is Josh Beckwith, construction project manager with JLM Energy, the Rocklin California company that built and is installing the micro-turbines.

So why is Intel doing this, you might ask? The answer is simple – because it’s the right thing to do. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich added comment, “Intel is proud of this [micro-turbine project]. We want people to see this, and to know that we’re thinking about new ways to do things.” From our engineers, to our manufacturing team, to our CEO, Intel is always looking for new ways to advance environmental sustainability and positively impact people’s lives through the use of technology. While this is a small pilot program, we believe it has the potential to help us better understand green power technologies and change the way people think about renewable energy.

Through this proof-of-concept project, Intel hopes to gather data on:

  • The feasibility of small-scale wind application for power generation
  • How to optimize future installations
  • Ways to continue to evolve our other environmental sustainability programs

Our micro-turbines are not hidden, and word of Intel’s big rooftop array is likely to spread — City of Santa Clara traffic count data shows that more than 28,000 vehicles every day pass Intel’s headquarters building on Mission College Boulevard. We plan to share the data from these micro-turbines, in hopes that we inspire other companies, industry peers and electric users to consider creative new options to conserve energy.

This pilot is just the latest effort in Intel’s diverse and longstanding renewable energy portfolio. To date, Intel has facilitated 21 solar electric facilities installations globally, solar hot water installations in four countries, and less well-known technologies such as ground source heat pumps. Over the past seven years, Intel has invested more than $118 million in energy conservation and completed over 2,300 projects, saving more than 2.44 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy, or the equivalent approximate CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 153,000 average U.S. homes for one year. These investments also generated cumulative energy cost savings of $249 million for Intel through the end of 2014.

Learn more about Intel’s sustainability initiatives by checking out Intel’s 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report, which was released earlier this week.

Marty Sedler

Marty Sedler is the Director of Global Utilities & Infrastructure for Intel Corporation. Marty has been with Intel 20 years, integrating Energy Management and Energy Policy responsibilities within a formal process. Marty is Intel’s external energy representative in various private, public, State and Federal energy action groups and task forces. He is a member of various Department of Energy Steering Committees and has sat on several state Governors’ energy committees.  Previous to joining Intel, he spent 14 years in the electric utility industry in a variety of functions including: Operations, Rates, Environmental, Energy Supply/Engineering, Power Plant Operation and Key Account Management.

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