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As published in Toledo Business Journal - August 1, 2017

Rendering of Valfilm with its planned wind turbines

Rendering of Valfilm with its planned wind turbines

Valfilm investing $6.9M in Findlay facility

One Energy to construct two wind turbines to generate 8M kWh

Valfilm, a Brazilian-based company that specializes in developing, manufacturing, and marketing flexible packaging in polyethylene and One Energy, a Findlay-based on-site wind energy generation company, is investing $6.9 million for two wind turbines at Valfilm’s Findlay manufacturing plant, located in Allen Township in Hancock County. Construction will begin this summer and the windmills are planned to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2018.

According to Valfilm, the Valfilm Wind Project is a Wind for Industry® project. Wind for Industry® is on-site wind energy designed to significantly offset an industrial facility’s electricity consumption from the grid. Wind for Industry® projects involve the installation of one or more utility-scale wind turbines, which are interconnected on the facility’s side of the utility meter.

One Energy is financing the entire project cost and Valfilm will receive immediate electricity rate savings and a fixed rate for the next 20 years, with zero upfront cost. One Energy will pay $18,000 annually in local property taxes to Hancock County, as well as supplying and constructing the turbines.

The project entails two Goldwind 87 / 1500 model turbines that produce three megawatts (MW). According to Valfilm, these turbines will generate enough electricity to power 600 – 800 average homes, will generate more than 8,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, and offset more than 75% of the plant’s electricity consumption.

According to Valfilm, the project’s annual energy production is equivalent to eliminating more than 6,000 metric tons of CO2.

Steve Shiparski, Valfilm Findlay’s plant manager, said, “Valfilm is committed to sustainability and long-term profitability. This project is an excellent way to reduce our plant’s carbon footprint, while helping to lower the cost of manufacturing our high-quality products.”

According to Valfilm, to ensure responsible siting, multiple feasibility studies were conducted to assess any potential impacts of the turbine installation, including icing, shadow flicker, sound propagation, microwave interference, and environmental impact. Both of the wind turbines will be compliant with the local wind ordinance in Allen Township.

Shiparski said, “This is a move to prepare for the future. Valfilm’s intention is to grow in Findlay and this step is to prepare us for that growth. Our vision is to support one of the elements of the company’s values through social and environmental responsibility. The attractiveness of affordable wind power in balance with standard electrical supply has helped us decide to move forward with the project. This agreement will lock us in with a fair rate for 20 years for wind generation.”

Jereme Kent, CEO and general manager of One Energy, said, “It is a privilege to work with a world-class company like Valfilm who made Findlay its home. We look forward to seeing them continue to grow and are excited that they are going to have 20 years of known energy costs to make their business more attractive.”

As part of the project, Valfilm will create one $5,000 Megawatt Scholarship per turbine, for a total of $10,000 annually; to be awarded each year the turbines are in operation. These scholarships will be awarded annually to local high school graduates pursuing a two or four year STEM degree.

In addition to the turbines, Valfilm is also investing an estimated $7 million in a 49,000 square foot addition to its operations. According to Shiparski, this will provide additional space for a transition to new technology and space for additional machinery capacity. The company will be adding new blown film and possibly cast film lines, as well as associated production equipment for the new technology. Construction for this project will begin in the summer and is planned to be operational in the second quarter of 2018.

Valfilm focuses on polyolefin films for commodity and specialty packaging, and specialty applications in automotive, building and construction, as well as industrial use films. According to Valfilm, the customers supplied from its Findlay operations are primarily in North America with additional sales in Europe and Asia.