2012 Progress: During 2012 we implemented projects that reduced energy use by 92,000 MMBtu, which fulfills 14 percent of our target of 664,000 MMBtu by 2020. Normalized direct energy (MMBtu/ton production) in 2012 was 1.68 and normalized indirect energy (kWh/ton production) in 2012 was 292.
Recent projects to reduce energy consumption include the following:
- Replacing equipment to reduce energy use: At our Austin (MN) Plant, we replaced four older condensers with two larger, finned evaporative condensers. The goal of the installation was to increase plant condensing capacity by 27 percent and to reduce energy and water consumption. The equipment replacement project resulted in more than 1.85 million kWh saved in 2012. It also allowed for a 7.5 million gallon reduction in water usage.
- Reducing electrical costs by reducing electrical demand: At our Diamond Crystal Brands Savannah (GA) Plant, a team aimed to reduce overall energy use by implementing simple conservation principles such as managing compressed air needs and light usage. The plant also implemented a four day, 10 hour work week that helped to reduce energy usage. The combination of efforts resulted in an annual energy reduction of more than 568,000 kWh, which was a 9 percent reduction from 2011 levels.
- Reducing plant-wide electrical use: At the Jennie-O Turkey Store – Faribault (MN) facility, VFD controls were installed on one condenser, suction pressures were raised on the blast freeze system during the post-production phase, and modifications were made to the water tank level controls, all in an attempt to decrease overall energy use. These initiatives resulted in a reduction of more than 200,000 kWh in energy.