How adopting solar power at Norgren’s Rockford factory cut 242 tonnes of carbon
Discover how Norgren uses solar panels at its Rockford factory to cut its carbon footprint – and help its customers hit their sustainability goals.
Make big sustainability ambitions a reality by adopting solar power at Norgren’s factories.
The beginning: Building rock-solid solar power foundations
This story begins with a call to action: a company-wide goal of reducing Norgren’s carbon footprint by 50% by 2025. It’s an ambitious target. But a necessary one. For Norgren’s customers, and for the planet. Norgren plays a vital role in its customers’ supply chains – and those customers need a partner that can be trusted to make sustainability a priority.
In some cases, that means making smaller changes that have a much bigger impact – like, for example, switching to LED lightbulbs at Norgren factories. But it also requires some big-picture changes. Projects just as ambitious as Norgren’s sustainability goals.
Like rolling out solar power across its factories – starting with the site in Rockford, Illinois.
Rockford manufactures Norgren’s industry-leading NFPA cylinders – pneumatic and hydraulic actuators, designed based on standards created by the National Fluid Power Association for the US market.
Every major project needs a test case. And this one was a clear demonstration of the power of solar – and how total commitment is crucial for meeting sustainability goals.
The plan: Think big, but start small
Adopting solar power at Rockford meant more than installing a few solar panels. Norgren wanted to commit all of the time and investment needed to make solar energy a significant energy source on site – and significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
But careful implementation is crucial for these kinds of large projects. So the decision was made to begin with a small test project, and then scale rapidly.
Testing the theory: 7.5% of Rockford’s energy from solar
This phase of the project made it possible to test theories and uncover any potential issues before beginning a wide-scale installation.
So the shift towards solar power at the Rockford factory started on a relatively small scale.
The first step was a $200,000 investment in solar panels – which included replacing several sections of the factory’s roof. An essential step, if Rockford wanted to see the results it was looking for.
Once the roof was repaired, 254 solar panels were installed during this first phase of the project. During this time, the team were able to take note of chances to refine their approach and meticulously plan the next stage of the project.
But this phase wasn’t just about preparing for the future. It was designed to deliver some real results, fast. And it did.
90,000 kWh per year’s worth of solar power, offsetting 65 tonnes of carbon. That’s 7.5% of energy consumption at Rockford drawn from solar power.
And that was only the beginning.
Scaling up: 32.5% of our energy from solar
Those impressive results motivated Rockford to increase the size of the project.
It was time to take another major step forward and keep chasing the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2025.
In 2023, the second phase of the project kicked off, adding around $700,000 worth of solar equipment to the solar panels installed in phase one.
It was a major increase in investment, but it’s already paying off.
This phase of the project is expected to generate 40,000 kWh per year, which accounts for another 25% of our energy usage. Which means that, by the end of 2023, 32.5% of Rockford’s energy will be drawn directly from a clean, renewable, sustainable source.
Aiming for 58% of Rockford’s energy from solar
Rockford is now working towards the next phase of this project, planning solar installations that could allow it to draw another 25% of its power from solar panels. That adds up to 58% of its energy from solar – which will reduce emissions by another 242 tonnes of carbon.
Aiming higher than ever
Rockford has been an incredible testing ground. Next, the project will continue to scale to Norgren’s site in University Park, with a $200,000 project planned for 2024.
And Norgren has achieved its goal: reducing its environmental impact, and helping its customers reduce the carbon footprints of their supply chains. Demonstrating that – with dedicated investment, careful planning, and big ambitions – solar can transform Norgren’s factories.
For more information about how Norgren is reducing its carbon footprint – and unlocking new benefits for its customers and people in the process – click here.