Weyerheuser’s NORPAC plant Pioneering new Energy Saving Technology
One of the most significant energy efficiency projects in recent years is underway in the State of Washington, and it could set the stage for new growth in the U.S. paper industry. The largest paper mill in the U.S., Weyerheuser's NORPAC plant in Longview, is getting a new system for pretreating wood chips that is expected to save the company 100 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
The project is noteworthy not only for its sheer size, but also for demonstrating the potential that new conservation technologies have for generating new products and services. The full system is not entirely on line yet, but NORPAC (North Pacific Paper Corporation) is already using it to produce a new grade of paper.
NORPAC has been the beneficiary of Washington's rich hydropower resources, but with existing hydropower at or near its limits, under conventional practices the only way for NORPAC to grow would be for the utility to purchase additional power from other more costly sources.
New energy efficiency technologies essentially provide a new source of power at a lower cost, which benefits both the utility and NORPAC over the long run. NORPAC also stands to achieve immediate benefits from a sharp reduction in its annual electricity costs.
Wood Chips photo via Shutterstock.
Read more at ENN Affiliate, TriplePundit.