Northwest Renewable News

Your Daily Source for Renewable Energy News in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana & Northern California

Plum Creek Lumber rewarded for saving energy in Mont. November 13, 2009

Filed under: Energy Efficiency,Montana,Wood Products — nwrenewablenews @ 5:30 pm


Flathead Electric Cooperative presented a check for more than $337,000 to Plum Creek Thursday for the lumber company’s efforts at reducing energy use and its carbon footprint.

A partnership between Plum Creek, Flathead Electric Cooperative and Bonneville Power Administration has  resulted in an annual reduction of 3.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity used at Plum Creek’s line two.

Plum Creek has installed the conservation system on line one, which is separate from the BPA rebate program, for a total annual electricity reduction of 8.1 million kilowatt hours.

“Anyone working in wood products manufacturing knows these are tough times for our industry,” Tom Ray, Vice President of Montana Operations, said. “We are continuously looking for innovative ways to improve our operating efficiencies. The cost savings we will gain from this new energy conservation system will help us remain competitive.”

PCS UtiliData, based in Spokane, Wash., worked with Plum Creek to install the energy usage reduction system, called AdaptiVolt, which monitors and regulates voltages on line two.

The system has been so efficient that, based upon kilowatt hours saved, BPA’s rebate to Plum Creek will cover 70 percent of the cost of the line’s system installation. Plum Creek has worked with BPA since 2006 to conduct a comprehensive technical services provider audit. The audit results indicated that the second line could become more energy-efficient if the voltages throughout the line were more closely regulated.

The rebate stems from a BPA program called “Conservation Acquisition Agreement,” which encourages industrial customers to install energy-saving technology by providing significant rebates toward the cost of the energy efficiency projects.

FEC makes the BPA rebate program available to its industrial customers and works with them to implement innovative programs that meet their needs and save energy.

Ken Sugden, Flathead Electric general manager, said the Plum Creek project is one of the largest stand-alone programs FEC has undertaken with an industrial customer.

“Our goal is to encourage other customers to invest in technologies that will help them achieve energy efficiencies,” he said. “We consider this project to be a great example of what can be accomplished.”

K.J. Hascall, Daily Inter Lake –


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