Generating ice cream from wind power

It’s probably not what traditional wind farm developers have in mind when they are considering the many benefits of harnessing wind energy, but a popular American company has come up with two new reasons to appreciate the emissions-free technology — ice cream and iced tea.

Turkey Hill Dairy, which produces the fourth largest-selling premium ice cream in the US, announced last week its use of two wind turbines that generate a combined 3.2 megawatts will now power at least one-quarter of its annual electricity needs.

A press release from the Pennsylvania company said that equals enough power to produce six million gallons of ice cream and 15 million gallons of iced tea each year. Employing 700 workers, the dairy offers 46 flavors of premium ice cream and 18 different types of iced tea.

“We are so excited by our new use of wind power and all the opportunities that reduce our environmental footprint,” Turkey Hill Dairy President Quintin Frey said in the press release.

Located in Lancaster County on the banks of the Susquehanna River, the Turkey Hill property has been in the Frey family since 1817. The wind turbines are part of the dairy’s sustainability program which began in 2003.

February was the first full month the wind turbines were online and producing power, the press release said. Over 769,677 kilowatt hours of electricity were generated, providing 32% of the dairy’s monthly electricity.

According to the press release, generating the same amount of electricity using fossil fuels would add about 5,900 tons per year of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is equivalent annually to removing 1,000 cars from the road or reducing gasoline consumption by 600,000 gallons or importing 12,000 fewer barrels of oil into the US.

By Chris Rose,