April 21, 2021

Celebrating Earth Day with Solar-powered Manufacturing

By Protolabs

To celebrate Earth Day, we've unveiled new solar array at our Plymouth, Minn., manufacturing facility. Nearly 1,900 solar panels were installed on the roof of the building, covering 20 percent of our future energy use.

More than 700 kilowatts of solar-powered manufacturing comes with tremendous environmental benefits. The new solar power system will offset the equivalent of 1.3 million pounds of CO2 and preserve 775 acres of forest annually.

For context of the size of the solar array, Minnesota produced a total of 7 megawatts of solar electricity in 2012. The system installed at the facility would account for 10 percent of the state’s output less than 10 years ago. 

We worked with Impact Power Solutions (IPS) over the last year to install the solar panels, which occupy all usable space on the roof. The Plymouth facility is home to 330 workers and is where we machine tools and sample parts for our injection molding service.

Transitioning to solar-powered manufacturing is only the latest in our larger sustainability initiative. We recently established a Green Team, comprised of employees to create a sustainability charter that identifies opportunities like installing solar panels. The Green Team is also leading efforts to improve energy efficiencies, which includes everything from switching to LED light fixtures to installing high-efficiency resin dryers on the production floor.

This is the face of a more sustainable future in manufacturing. Happy Earth Day!

Solar Panels