Tech leader’s newest locations will follow long company tradition of solar panel array installations
OWC®; a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company founded in 1988, and one of the world’s most respected providers of Memory, External Drives, SSDs, Mac & PC docking solutions and performance upgrade kits, has opened two new facilities and announced that one facility has recently been equipped with the maximum in solar capability and the other will soon be equipped. OWC has always taken an approach of ‘waste not, want not’ in avoiding planned obsolescence, extending the life and performance of existing hardware, and maximizing the benefits of finite resources required to do so. OWC applies the same consideration to resources it utilizes and sees environmental stewardship as the only the right thing to do for future generations. And with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd, OWC is primed to widely expand their green practices with these additional solar power installations coming online that add to already significant solar and wind generation and many other operational aspects that recognize the pricelessness of our environment.
OWC’s Austin, TX team moved into a larger facility late in 2019 and recently had a solar installation consisting of 696 American-made SunPower solar panels installed across their new corporate park. The panels will provide up to 355,000kWh/yr. of power, or 48% of the power used by the buildings in that location. The array was installed in early March, and based upon work from home coronavirus restrictions, will hopefully be inspected and generating power by May.
The OWC service and upgrade team moved from the existing Woodstock, IL headquarters into a newly-renovated 14,000 sq./ft. space this month. The move was necessitated by the requirement for additional room and team members, allowing OWC to expand upon its sales of used Macs and build-outs and servicing of both used Macs and customers’ machines that are sent directly to OWC for repairs and upgrades. The plan for the additional Woodstock facility will include the installation of 154 solar panels. Continuing in OWC’s long tradition of recycling, the current plan is the installation of the panels originally utilized on the roof of OWC’s first Austin location that first went online in 2015.
“Everyone on the team at OWC is proud to take part in making the environment a priority,” said Larry O’Connor, OWC Founder and CEO. “This green mandate OWC has always lived is top-to-bottom, from this business starting as the reuse/re-inking of printer ink ribbons, expanding to giving customers the power to perform their own upgrades and keep their machines running better and longer, to now the recycling, shipping, cleaning, power, and more that every team member participates in at every OWC location. It is exciting to be celebrating Earth Day at 50, and to know that we are all making a difference in the world around us, for the better.”
OWC has a proud history of green power support and generation. A Vestas V39/500 wind turbine went operational at OWC headquarters in Woodstock in October of 2009. OWC quickly became the first manufacturer/distributor in the U.S. to become 100% on-site wind powered. The wind turbine alone in Woodstock generates more power than is consumed at this location, where most of OWC’s team members work, estimated at 265,650kWh/yr. Additional clean power produced by wind and sun is pushed back out onto the local grid. Beyond solar and wind power, OWC currently recycles 97 percent of its solid waste materials and received LEED® Platinum Certification from the Green Building Certification Institute for the headquarters in 2010.
OWC is regularly engaged with environmentally-conscious organizations and artists. Current projects include Kiss the Ground and “Eating Our Way to Extinction”. Kiss the Ground inspires participation around climate, soil, food and the future of Earth itself. The film shows how regenerative agriculture can sequester the carbon from the atmosphere and balance the Earth’s climate in a matter of decades. The “Kiss the Ground Movie” is narrated by Woody Harrelson, features Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Ian Sommerhalder, and Patricia Arquette, all strong advocates for environmental advancements. It has been accepted to the Tribeca Film Festival and will be distributed in the coming months. “Eating Our Way to Extinction” is a cinematic documentary film set to premiere later this year. It focuses on issues around environment, health, compassion, and economics and is one piece of an entire educational plan designed to reduce consumption of food types that lead to increases in greenhouse gases and/or the destruction of natural resources.
OWC is also continuing to work with Jam in the Van, the world’s first and only solar-powered mobile recording studio. Jam in the Van is a robust content workspace, video production house and live event production team. They offer an authentic and engaging space where artists and fans can interact, typically crossing the country visiting top music festivals. During this time, the studio is offering stay-at-home performances from artists that can be seen through their YouTube and other social channels.
OWC has always believed the economic reality is that, with careful planning and a little team effort, sustainability is synonymous with success. The tech leader has always sought to provide customers with products that allow them to maximize the longevity of their technology products and to improve the performance of those products, keeping more electronics out of landfills for a longer period of time. 2020 sees the 50th anniversary of Earth Day; OWC will continue to live every day as Earth Day and encourages others to do so as well.