Idaho Office of Energy Resources

Idaho Save Energy Now leveraged funds from the Advanced Manufacturing Office state award to establish a team that provided industrial facilities with resources, assessments, implementation assistance, and training that resulted in reducing energy intensity in the state’s industrial sector.
In 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO; formerly the Industrial Technologies Program) ) awarded grants to 23 state and 5 regional entities to help disseminate energy-saving resources and information to industrial manufacturers in their areas. Idaho’s Office of Energy Resources (OER) received one of these grants to support its Idaho Save Energy Now—Industries of the Future program. OER recognized that greater industrial energy efficiency in the industrial sector could help alleviate some of the capacity constraints the state was facing with electricity generation and peak transmission capacity.

As part of its plan improve industrial energy efficiency, OER first identified that a lack of technical plant personnel was a significant barrier for industrial facilities to implement efficiency projects. OER’s Save Energy Now program was designed to build professional industrial energy engineering expertise to sustain the state’s progress on energy and environmental issues, as well as to continue to undertake independent energy efforts in the future. OER is accomplishing these goals by demonstrating the value of in-house energy engineering expertise and offering assistance in efficiency project implementation.

OER’s Save Energy Now program had four primary objectives:

Complete an energy engineering demonstration project (EEDP) to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of hiring energy engineers, and then develop a case study supporting the findings of the EEDP.

Develop an investment-grade feasibility study of an estimated 100-MW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) project at The Amalgamated Sugar Company’s (TASCO) Nampa, Idaho, facility site.

Develop an industrial refrigeration energy saving assessment (ESA) protocol and analysis tool to complement AMO’s suite of other ESA tools.

Work with other state providers to coordinate energy efficiency resources to Idaho’s manufacturing facilities of all sizes.

Offer ESAs and professional services to provide energy efficiency support to Idaho’s manufacturing facilities.

The EEDP was a pilot project that provided funding for the J.R. Simplot Company, a participant of the Better Plants Program, to cost-share the expenses of staffing two in-house energy engineers. The purpose of the EEDP was to demonstrate the value and cost effectiveness of hiring energy engineers dedicated to implementing energy efficiency improvement projects and changing the energy culture in corporations to increase awareness. Phase two of the EEDP produced a case study that provided a compelling business case for industry investment in human resources dedicated solely to continuous energy improvement.

To accomplish the second objective, the CHP feasibility study was conducted in partnership with TASCO and Idaho Power Company. TASCO anticipated that the CHP project would be natural gas fired to provide excellent source fuel efficiency—allowing TASCO to retire its coal-fired boiler operations and greatly improve air quality emissions.

In 2011, OER identified that there were only five sorption waste heat recovery heat pump systems installed in the country. Because of this deficiency, OER initiated objective three, developing an industrial refrigeration ESA protocol, which sought to identify sorption heat recovery applications to optimize refrigeration and other energy systems (e.g. hot water) common in food processing facilities. OER also worked to develop an industrial refrigeration ESA analysis tool, which it anticipated would complement AMO’s suite of other ESA tools—providing further market reach than a standalone technology demonstration.

In order to accomplish its fourth objective, OER created the Idaho Energy Efficiency Partnership (IEEP) project, which was a collaborative attempt to combine the industrial energy efficiency efforts throughout Idaho. The initial focus of this partnership was to assist interested industrial companies with energy efficiency projects, as well as to create and maintain a communications network where OER would document and report on all IEEP energy efficiency projects. This project would help illustrate successful projects and some of the various barriers of project implementation, while helping to identify further energy efficiency opportunities.

With regard to the final objective, through the IEEP, OER provided assistance and guidance to Idaho industrial energy users, while also providing follow-up assistance for those implementing the suggestions made in the assessment. OER would also follow up on at least 10 IEEP Level I assessments to identify the sites in need of additional Level II assessments and/or other professional services. OER would work with plant managers to develop an energy efficiency management plan, which illustrated the benefits of ongoing energy efficiency best practices.

Contact Idaho Office of Energy Resources

Matt Wiggs
P.O. Box 83720
304 N. 8th Street, Suite 250
Boise, Idaho  83720-0199
Phone: 208-332-1660


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