DOE Conducts Energy Assessments in Louisiana and Nebraska
DOE announced in mid-September that it is conducting three-day industrial Energy Saving Assessments at the W.R. Grace facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and at the Cargill facility in Blair, Nebraska. Grace is a specialty chemicals and materials company specializing in catalysts and silica, construction, and container products. The Lake Charles plant produces catalyst products used by the petroleum refining industry. Cargill's Blair plant produces sweeteners, corn oil and feed products, as well as ethanol. The plant currently has an ethanol production capacity of 85 million gallons per year, but in 2005 announced plans for a new plant that will increase the Blair facility's capacity to 195 million gallons per year when it goes online in late 2007. See the DOE press releases on the visits to the Grace and Cargill facilities; the Grace Web site; and the Cargill press release on its ethanol expansion.
DOE's Energy Saving Teams have completed visits to 33 large federal facilities and are in the process of visiting 200 energy-intensive manufacturing facilities as part of the national "Easy Ways to Save Energy" campaign launched in October 2005. The first 118 industrial Energy Saving Assessments have identified a total of $292 million per year in potential energy cost savings. If implemented, these energy-saving measures could reduce natural gas consumption by more than 31.4 trillion Btu per year, which is more than the amount used by 436,000 U.S. homes. The results of many of these industrial Energy Saving Assessments are now available on the "Save Energy Now" Web site, provided by DOE's Industrial Technologies Program.
Meanwhile, the Energy Star program has awarded the Energy Star to 17 manufacturing plants in the auto assembly, cement, and wet corn milling industries. The first-time awards recognize industrial plants with an energy performance score in the top 25 percent nationally using Energy Star plant energy performance indicators. One of the plants—the California Portland Cement Company facility in Mojave, California—was the subject of a DOE Energy Saving Assessment in April. The Energy Star program is a joint effort of DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the EPA is currently working with 10 industries to advance innovative corporate energy management tools. See the EPA press release, the list of awardees on the Energy Star Web site, and the DOE press release on the energy assessment at the California Portland Cement Company.