BACARDI, creator of the world’s favorite rum, generates energy with power from the wind. Installed in 2010, two majestic, wind turbines now are a distinct part of the landscape – and the environmental consciousness – at the world’s largest premium rum distillery in Catano, Puerto Rico, just outside San Juan.
“The wind turbine project is important for both Bacardi and Puerto Rico as it creates renewable energy,” says Magaly Feliciano, Environmental Health & Safety Manager for Bacardi Corporation in Puerto Rico. “The two industrial-scale turbines produce enough energy to power our visitor center, one of San Juan’s top tourist destinations.”
The wind turbines generate approximately 1,000,000 kWh of electricity per year, providing three to seven percent of the power for Bacardi in Puerto Rico. To put these numbers into perspective, that’s enough electricity to run all tourism-related activities at the Casa BACARDI Visitor Center – equivalent to the energy that 100 households would consume on an annual basis. All of the power generated by the wind turbines is used onsite at the facility, resulting in an average carbon offset of more than 900 tons of CO2 per year.
Every day, hundreds of sightseers stop by to enjoy great BACARDI cocktails, learn about the Company’s history and revolutionary rum production – and get a taste of its commitment to the environment. The two Bacardi wind turbines can be seen from miles away and are industrial scale at 250kW each. They are owned by Catano-based Aspenall Energies, which will sell the wind-produced electricity to Bacardi under a power-purchase agreement. With their blades, the turbines stand 137 feet high and have a rotor diameter of 75 feet.
The wind turbines also set inspiration into motion for Bacardi employees – and an entire island community. “We have a fairly good wind resource and a wonderful solar resource. As long as we’re using these natural resources, we stabilize the cost of energy, we can also have a cleaner mix to create less pollution on our island,” says Raoul Slavin, Managing Director of Aspenall Energies.
The model project also has widespread community and governmental support. Now, wind power is catching on with other businesses in Puerto Rico, an island working to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. “Wind energy is no longer an unknown thanks largely to this project with Bacardi,” adds Slavin. “It’s something the Puerto Rican community feels very comfortable with.”
“As we mark this week’s Global Wind Day, we recognize the extraordinary potential of wind power,” says Dave Howson, Bacardi Global Sustainability Director. “At Bacardi, we take pride that our Company is generating energy from a clean and renewable source.”
In 1862, in the city of Santiago de Cuba, founder Don Facundo Bacardi Masso revolutionized the spirits industry when he created a light-bodied rum with a particularly smooth taste – BACARDI. The unique taste of BACARDI rum inspired cocktail pioneers to invent some of the world’s most famous recipes including the BACARDI Mojito, the BACARDI Daiquiri, the BACARDI Cuba Libre, the BACARDI Pina Colada and the BACARDI Presidente. BACARDI rum is the world’s most awarded rum, and spirit, with more than 550 awards for quality, taste and innovation. Today, BACARDI rum is made in Puerto Rico and Mexico where it is crafted to ensure the taste remains the same as it did when it was first blended in 1862.