Kohler announced a partnership with Robert Swan, OBE (Order of the British Empire), on his 2023 Undaunted Expedition that will take him across the Antarctic landmass to the Geographic South Pole relying solely on renewable energy sources. Swan characterizes himself as a modern-day explorer and is the only human to have walked to both the North and South Poles. He has dedicated his life’s work to the preservation of Antarctica and the planet through promoting renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change through his 2041 Foundation. Swan embarked on his journey in December 2022 relying on Kohler energy solutions, with the goal to reach the South Pole mid-January.
A leader in energy resiliency for more than 100 years, Kohler is equipping Swan’s journey with a customized Kohler generator that utilizes a Kohler diesel engine fueled by hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). The fuel is 90 percent carbon neutral and sourced entirely from waste products, making it part of a circular economy. HVO is a high-quality replacement of fossil diesel made from waste vegetable oils and other sustainable materials. It allows generator users to adopt low carbon, renewable energy without compromise on performance.
“Increased climate challenges have made critical resiliency solutions more important than ever,” Swan said. “We all have a responsibility for this last great wilderness left on Earth. Antarctica has always been a natural reserve land for science and peace, and it’s the only place like it on the planet.”
The off-grid sustainable system will provide the energy needed to operate Swan’s base camp and provide battery charge to his mobile equipment. The integrated energy system is controlled by the Heila EDGE, a modular and decentralized energy platform from Heila Technologies – part of Kohler Co. – that connects and optimizes solar arrays, batteries and other distributed energy resources, creating a resilient microgrid solution for Swan’s Antarctic base camp.
Kohler’s portfolio of energy products is built to withstand harsh weather conditions and provide reliable, resilient power when the grid cannot, making them a dependable energy solution for Swan. Kohler has a proven history of resilient power solutions that have survived the unforgiving terrain of the South Pole. More than 90 years ago, Admiral Richard Byrd powered his Antarctic journey with Kohler generators, and they were his only means to communicate back to the civilized world from the depths of the Antarctic. Swan and Kohler’s partnership on the Undaunted Expedition honors the progress of resilient and clean energy solutions and celebrates future possibilities of helping to control climate change and preserve the planet.
“Kohler’s relationship to the Antarctic and environmental sustainability is deeply rooted within our history,” said Francis Perrin, VP of marketing for Kohler, adding that Swan’s passion and perseverance are admirable traits that have also served Kohler well for 150 years. “Supporting the Undaunted Expedition with renewable energy solutions illustrates Kohler’s ongoing commitment to provide resilient energy systems and our journey toward strengthening our clean energy offerings.”