Two Wisconsin dairy farms honored for energy efficiency

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Floral Plant Growers, LLC, McMillan Farms, Peterson's Dairy LLC, and Rosendale Dairy were recently honored for earning the prestigious Governor's Award for Excellence in Energy Management. This award recognizes businesses dedicated to adopting energy-efficient and sustainable practices in Wisconsin.

With the help of Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, in partnership with Alliant Energy, Marshfield Utilities, Oconto Electric Cooperative,  We Energies, and Wisconsin Public Service, these four Wisconsin agribusinesses launched aggressive energy-saving efforts and continue to investigate new technologies and find more ways to save energy throughout their businesses.

Since 2008, Floral Plant Growers, LLC of Denmark, Wis. has saved more than 144,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 211,000 therms of natural gas annually. To reduce energy use in its greenhouses, Floral Plant Growers, LLC installed power-vented unit heaters and replaced double poly film roof glazing with double infrared (IR) poly film; upgraded to energy-efficient lighting; and installed occupancy sensors. Floral Plant Growers, LLC is also keeping up with preventive maintenance, utilizing thermal blankets, and reducing air infiltration. These efforts add up to $240,000 in annual energy cost savings.

"Energy is a significant cost driver at Floral Plant Growers, LLC so finding ways to reduce natural gas and electricity costs is just one way we are working to become a more sustainable company while ensuring we are here for our customers for many years to come," said Scott Lueder, Floral Plant Growers, LLC president.

Since 2009, McMillan Farms of Marshfield, Wis. has saved more than 6,000 kWh of electricity annually. To reduce energy use, McMillan Farms upgraded a low-efficiency continuous cross-flow grain dryer to a high-efficiency mixed-flow grain dryer. These efforts add up to $11,000 in annual energy cost savings.

"Grain drying can be very energy intensive," said Larry Scheuer, McMillan Farms owner. "The new mixed-flow grain dryer will certainly help save energy and money on my utility bill."

Since 2008, Peterson's Dairy LLC of Lena, Wis. has saved more than 147,000 kWh of electricity annually. To reduce energy use, Peterson's Dairy LLC installed a plate heat exchanger on its milk pipeline; added a variable-frequency drive on its milk vacuum pumps; and is utilizing a plate heat exchanger on its well water pre-cooler. These efforts add up to $11,000 in annual energy cost savings.

"In talking with an energy advisor from Focus on Energy, I learned that we can make changes with big results," said Arne Peterson, Peterson's Dairy LLC owner. "The energy efficient equipment will pay for itself in one and a half to five years."

Since 2009, Rosendale Dairy of Pickett, Wis. has saved more than 3.6 million kWh of electricity and 6,000 therms of natural gas annually. To reduce energy use, Rosendale Dairy utilizes heat-recovery tanks; invested in plate heat exchangers on its milk pipelines; added variable-frequency drives on its dairy vacuum pumps and milk transfer pumps; upgraded to energy-efficient lighting; installed an energy efficient water heater; and installed energy-efficient livestock waterers. These efforts add up to $288,000 in annual energy cost savings.

"Rosendale Dairy is always looking for ways in which it can be more efficient in every aspect, especially in energy use," said Todd Willer, Rosendale Dairy partner. "This is crucial to us as a business as well as a part of Wisconsin's business community and in our relationship with all of our neighbors."

The efficiency efforts of these four agribusinesses combined will save enough energy in one year to power more than 600 Wisconsin homes for a year and are equivalent to offsetting more than 11,550 barrels of oil from being burned--eliminating 9.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being released into the atmosphere.

"We're proud to honor Floral Plant Growers, LLC, McMillan Farms, Peterson's Dairy LLC, and Rosendale Dairy with the Governor's Award for Excellence in Energy Management," said Ken Williams, Focus on Energy's business programs director. "We applaud their commitment to the environment and recognize them as positive examples for other businesses to follow."

Source: Focus on Energy

 



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