Diamond Wipes International Leads the Way for Distributed Generation

June 18, 2012
Churning out twice the energy it consumes, the company aims to ease the strain on the state's aging electric grid.

Diamond Wipes International has invested heavily in its solar project since 2011 -- dropping $1.6 million for its new 3,360-panel installation on its Chino, Calif., facility last year. So far, this investment seems to be paying off.

"The solar system is cranking away," says Tom Hill, vice president of marketing and sales at Diamond Wipes. "As a matter of fact, we're generating about double our burn rate at this time of year, so we are contributing to the overall good of the state."

By feeding this power back into the grid, Diamond Wipes is racking up huge savings in energy costs while also reducing the strain on the system to help prevent more of the region's frequent, costly outages.

"You can probably imagine how disastrous it would be for small and midsize manufacturers like ours, often running the machines and lines 24 hours a day for five to six straight days at a time to accommodate the growth and service customers better, to experience even just a few minutes of blackout," says Diamond Wipes CEO, Even Yen.

Diamond Wipes CEO, Even Yen

"Fortunately for us, the local energy grid we are connected to has been reliable since we relocated into the area a few years back. But it is definitely a concern for me as various infrastructures, not just electricity, continue to age," she explains.

The solar installation working on the grid with distributed generation helps relieve many of these concerns for companies across the system, providing a high-tech solution to an aging infrastructure.

For companies thinking about the future of energy, this is a critical point.

"To think that one day not too far from now we can no longer take electricity for granted, there's a sense of slow but sure impending disaster," says Yen. "This is a big challenge that no one company can overcome by itself. I like to think that we are doing our part by investing into our solar energy system right here and now."

About the Author

Travis M. Hessman | Editor-in-Chief

Travis Hessman is the editor-in-chief and senior content director for IndustryWeek and New Equipment Digest. He began his career as an intern at IndustryWeek in 2001 and later served as IW's technology and innovation editor. Today, he combines his experience as an educator, a writer, and a journalist to help address some of the most significant challenges in the manufacturing industry, with a particular focus on leadership, training, and the technologies of smart manufacturing.

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