Seeing Energy Efficiency in a Whole New Light

Cold storage facilities are getting significant ROI from the latest in LED lighting systems.


Prior to the permanent installation, Maines and Digital Lumens conducted a pilot installation to evaluate the system in both dry and cold environments. Maines chose to retrofit its 400W HID fixtures with the Digital Lumens solution, which produced instant, high quality light when, and where needed; little or no maintenance or re-lamping; and data for Maines’ management team to document energy use and continuously improve performance over time.

Maines is set to see a payback in less than two years. The company estimates it will save 1,726,108 kWh and eliminate 1,240 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually—equivalent to removing 200 homes per year from the grid.

Pat DeOrdio, vice president of operations at Maines, stated: “Our experience with Digital Lumens put to rest any questions we had regarding the use of LED-based light fixtures in complex warehouse environments. With the Intelligent Lighting System, we now have access to a long-lifecycle, low maintenance, high quality lighting source that provides the in-depth usage data we require to fine-tune our system to meet actual, versus estimated needs. The result is a smarter, vastly more efficient and sustainable solution that puts us firmly in control of our lighting, today and in the future.”

 

SmartWatt takes an agnostic approach

SmartWatt Energy is a provider of turnkey energy efficiency solutions. “We are product agnostic,” explained Ben Stewart, vice president of West Coast operations, during the recent IARW-WFLO expo in Tucson, Arizona.

The company provides whole-building energy assessments and implements lighting retrofits, variable frequency drive upgrades, control system enhancements, and more to help clients reach their sustainability goals.

Five years ago, United States Cold Storage (USCS) began benchmarking their CO2 emissions in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of the company’s 35 facilities across the U.S.

As part of that initiative, USCS contacted SmartWatt Energy to perform a construction-grade energy audit and complete a value-engineered design of a new energy efficient lighting system at their Tracy, California facility.

SmartWatt opted for LED fixtures manufactured by Albeo Technologies for the project, based on their excellent performance in cold storage environments. The lighting retrofit project achieved an annual displaced energy level of 541,000 kWh, a reduction of 856,554 pounds of carbon dioxide, and a payback period of 1.6 years. In simpler terms, that equates to planting 83 acres of trees or removing 74 vehicles from the road each year. The project also saved enough energy to power over 47 homes every year.

 

Americold partners with Cascade Energy

In another sign of the growing importance of energy management and conservation in the cold storage sector, last September, Cascade Energy and Americold announced a three-year strategic partnership aimed at reducing energy use at Americold’s cold storage facilities. Cascade’s role in the partnership is to provide energy management services for 132 Americold refrigerated warehouses throughout the U.S.

Specifically, Cascade will provide monitoring, utility bill analysis, reporting, and Web-based dashboard applications. Americold also has the option to tap additional Cascade services, such as facility tune-ups, system optimization, capital studies, and coordination with local utility companies to maximize incentive programs.

“By working with the largest temperature-controlled warehousing company in the world, we have an opportunity to have a sweeping impact on the food storage and distribution industry,” commented Marcus Wilcox, president of Cascade Energy. “In addition to helping Americold effectively manage and reduce operating costs and increase the energy efficiency of its facilities, we hope to inspire others to consider implementing comprehensive energy management strategies.”

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