Portland, Ore. - The Bonneville Power Administration's Energy Smart Industrial program is helping companies better manage their energy use and reduce costs. Since 2009, BPA and Northwest publicly owned electric utilities have partnered with 473 industrial companies on projects that have collectively saved more than 647 million kilowatt-hours of electricity -- enough energy to power nearly 60,000 homes for a year.
"Energy Smart Industrial is making Northwest industrial companies more efficient and competitive," says Richard Genece, vice president of Energy Efficiency at BPA. "The success of ESI is a credit to the work of our utility customers and ESI staff, as well as to industrial companies embracing energy efficiency across the region."
In the first five years of the program, 111 publicly owned electric utilities in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming have helped industrial end-users complete over 735 capital projects in a variety of market segments, including food processing, pulp and paper, wood products, advanced technology, water/wastewater and mining. A recent examination revealed that the annual energy savings from completed capital projects increased by 300 percent on average.
ESI provides a suite of energy management options that BPA's utility customers can offer to the industrial companies they serve. In order to meet the broad range of needs, technologies and facility sizes, the program features five components, many of which don't require a large, up-front investment: Energy Project Manager co-funding; Track and Tune Projects; High Performance Energy Management cohorts; Refrigerator Operator Coaching; and Small Industrial High Performance Energy Management. Since every facility is unique, the BPA program provides an engineer as a technical resource and point of contact for the customer and utility to ensure each project is defined, developed and managed successfully.
"With BPA providing incentives and technical expertise, we're helping our industrial customers, big and small, achieve significant energy savings," says Larry Blaufus, industrial accounts manager with Clark Public Utilities in Vancouver, Wash.
In 2010, Clark enrolled a non-woven fabrics plant in Washougal, Wash. Through energy efficiency measures and upgrades to chillers, air compressors and lighting, Fitesa Washougal Inc. cut its energy use by about 19 percent, or 2.5 million kWh a year.
JD Hisey, the plant's continuous improvement manager, says Energy Smart Industrial did more than just cut Fitesa's energy costs. "The new equipment reduced our maintenance, repair and downtime costs," Hisey says.
For energy-efficiency help at its plywood plant in Elgin, Ore., Boise Cascade, the second-largest softwood plywood manufacturer in North America, turned to Oregon Trail Electric Consumers Cooperative, a BPA customer utility in Baker City. After ESI-upgrades to its air-compressor system, Boise Cascade is saving about $24,000 a year in its energy bills.
"With better modulation, drying and pressure control, we're so much more efficient," says Scott Noble, manufacturing management associate for Boise Cascade. "And we've seen significant savings as a result."
The BPA program is now focusing on smaller industries in rural areas and water treatment and wastewater facilities. Also, since lighting upgrades have accounted for nearly 25 percent of the program's historical savings, ESI will continue to explore new lighting technologies and controls. And soon, BPA plans to develop a "Superior Energy Performance" pilot for industrial facilities.Attached Media Files: BPA and Northwest publicly owned electric utilities have helped 473 industrial companies save enough energy to power nearly 60,000 homes for a year. , Energy Smart Industrial provides a suite of energy-saving options that BPA's utility customers can offer to industrial companies they serve.