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Sustainable. Reduced carbon foot print. Environmentally conscious. These and many other terms have been tossed around for years, but they all mean one thing, everyone doing their part to clean up the planet. By powering its facilities with renewable energy, Maxwell Products has joined companies such as Microsoft and Amazon in the effort to reduce carbon emissions and better the environment.

“We were primarily interested in solar because it was cleaner,” said Maxwell Products’ Chief Executive Officer, Ken Maxwell. “Our products not only save money, but it also save resources, because you don’t need to continue to repave the same road if you can make it last longer. So we think renewable energy is in keeping with what we do as a company.”

Maxwell Products’ executives looked first at the cost-benefit of installing their own solar panels to generate power. New structures were proposed, which would have doubled as roof space for the solar panels. The cost involved would have been substantial, with the offsetting benefit of owning the power-generating infrastructure.

“We had three companies come out and give us bids,” said Matt Smith, Maxwell Product’s Chief Financial Officer. We were looking at building covered structures all over the yard, mostly so we could install solar panels. We needed a huge structure to generate the amounts of energy we use.”

Subscriber Solar

But there was a second possibility, one that delivered the same renewable energy as installing solar panels without the initial investment or ongoing maintenance costs. The local power company, Rocky Mountain Power, a division of PacifiCorp, offered this alternative.

“We were given another option to buy into Rocky Mountain Power’s Subscriber Solar program,” Smith said. “They built these farms, they sell you the power, and you’re able to keep your price the same for a certain length of time.”

With nearly one million customers in the state of Utah alone, Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) is a self-described leader in the development and use of renewable energy, including a 20 megawatt solar station in Millard County, Utah. (RMP also plans to install 700 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the Intermountain West by this year.) This was a reliable, experienced company with which Maxwell Products could partner in its efforts to both reduce cost and be more environmentally conscious.

“The manufacturing industry accounts for much of the energy consumption,” Maxwell said. “Now, individuals certainly can make a difference, but a business can have a much larger impact.”

Since January 2017, Maxwell Products’ facilities have used solar-generated electricity powered by Rocky Mountain Power’s Subscriber Solar Program. According to Rocky Mountain Power, Maxwell’s investment in solar energy “has the same environmental impact as taking 24 cars off the road,” while also reducing the company’s cost per kilowatt hour. That’s a win-win situation.

“We’re using less power, so we’re reducing the strain on the grid,” Smith said. “And using renewable energy helps everyone’s future.”

“I love living here [in Salt Lake City],” Maxwell said. “By doing our part to avoid emissions, we’re contributing. We breathe this air too, right? Together, all the individuals doing the right thing will make all the difference, and as a company, we have a responsibility to do what we can.”

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