Press Room

SC Johnson's Waxdale Wind Turbines

With the addition of two new wind turbines, SC Johnson’s Waxdale manufacturing facility produces an average of 100 percent of its electrical energy onsite. Waxdale is SC Johnson’s largest global manufacturing facility and is located in Mt. Pleasant, Wis., which is now the site of the largest company-owned wind turbine manufacturing project in the Midwest. The addition of wind energy further minimizes Waxdale’s dependence on fossil fuels. Here’s a look at the new turbines:

Facts & Stats

  • Format: Gearless, which reduces wear and increases energy yield
  • Generator: Synchronous generator with permanent magnet excitation
  • Rated Power: 1,500 kW
  • Tower/Hub Height: 280 feet
  • Blade Length: 135 feet
  • Total Height: 415 feet
  • Speed Range: 9-17.3 rpm
  • Model: Vensys 1.5 MW 82
  • Foundation: The turbine towers are embedded in foundations that extend more than 10 feet deep. Each foundation is made up of more than 800 tons of concrete and 36 tons of steel rod for stability and support even in severe weather

Benefits of Wind Power

The new wind turbines generate about 8 million kilowatts (kWh) of electricity a year – enough to power 700 homes annually.

The turbines eliminate 6,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from Waxdale each year. That’s equivalent to:

  • The emissions from 1,176 passenger vehicles
  • The emissions from the energy use of 519 homes
  • The emissions from 250,000 propane tanks for home barbeque grills
  • The emissions from burning 32 railcars of coal

Operational Details

  • Blades begin turning when wind speed is 7 mph and stop turning if wind exceeds 50 mph
  • Average wind speed in Mt. Pleasant at the height of the turbines, is 15 mph
  • Depending on wind speed, blades rotate up to 17 times per minute
  • The nacelle, which sits on top of the tower, is turned by a yaw system operated by three motors located in the nacelle. The nacelle can turn a full 360 degrees so that it can point into any wind direction and direct the pitch of the blades into the wind.
  • The turbines are equipped with wind weather equipment (such as an anemometer and wind vane) that control the direction the nacelle is facing to ensure it is pointing into the wind.
  • The blade pitch system turns the rotor blades around the center line and is used to control the power output and slow the motor down so that in slow wind speeds the maximum surface area of the blades are facing into the wind to generate as much energy as possible from the wind available. In high wind speeds the pitch of the blades is adjusted so less surface area of the blades faces the wind so the turbine only generates power up to the upper limit of the generator capability.

Points of Origin

  • Blades come from Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Towers come from Porter, Minn.
  • Concrete for foundations from Kenosha, Wis.
  • Hub, rotors, nacelle and converters come from Germany

Find out more about SC Johnson’s renewable energy efforts at

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