In 2018, we surpassed our energy use reduction goal.
In 2018, we implemented projects that resulted in reduced energy use exceeding 128,000 MMBtu. When combined with our results since 2012, we have surpassed our reduction target of 692,000 MMBtu by 12 percent. We will continue to implement additional energy reduction projects as we work to establish a new goal.
Normalized direct energy (MMBtu/sales tonnage) in 2018 was 1.67 and normalized indirect energy (kWh/sales tonnage) in 2018 was 282. Our normalized direct and indirect energy use improved, compared to our prior-year level.
Renewable Energy Initiatives
We continue to support the renewable energy markets by subscribing to community solar gardens at five manufacturing locations, including a co-sponsorship with Westar Energy for its first community solar garden near Wichita, Kan., where we manufacture most of our Hormel®Natural Choice® bacon products.
We look forward to continuing our support of renewable energy through additional solar power initiatives and the addition of a 74 MW renewable wind field that will be brought online in 2020.
Recent Projects to Reduce Energy Consumption
Austin (Minn.) Plant
Our Austin Plant was able to identify an alternative to using boiler steam for heating sanitation water. The team focused on the design and installation of the most efficient heat recovery system available to fit the plant’s needs. Through the addition of ammonia heat exchangers and a hot water storage tank, the plant was able to save over 100,000 MMBtu of natural gas per year with an additional 17 million gallons of water savings. This is enough energy to power over 600 homes for a year, and enough water to serve nearly 500 homes for a year.*
Columbus Craft Meats (Hayward, Calif.)
At our Columbus Craft Meats facilities, the team took advantage of improved efficiencies and reduced costs of LED lighting. Through careful planning and execution, they were able to replace all of the lights in two manufacturing locations with low-wattage, high-output LED bulbs. This retrofit resulted in an annual savings of over 1 million kWh of electricity – enough energy to charge over 90 million smartphones.*