BPA, Benton PUD award nearly $1M for energy efficiency

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The Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) Energy Smart Industrial (ESI) program serves 99 percent of the Northwest's public power's industrial load and has achieved nearly 370 million kilowatt-hours of verified energy savings in just the first two of the four years the program has been in existence.

Zirkle Fruit, a Washington State-based company, has racked up 3.5 million kilowatt-hours of annual energy savings at its Prosser facility by implementing major energy-efficiency upgrades. In exchange for its efforts, Zirkle received $880,000 in incentives from Benton Public Utility District and the Bonneville Power Adminsitration's ESI program.

A team of BPA ESI and Benton PUD energy-efficiency experts visited the Prosser site to identify and recommend improvements which resulted in upgrades to the facility's controlled atmosphere system which keeps the company's produce fresh. With improved performance, Zirkle Fruit will be able to cut $185,000 in annual energy costs for a two-year return on its $1.2 million investment.

BPA and ConAgra Foods were recently recognized by the Association of Energy Engineers for their energy efficiency efforts.

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