April 2013 Vol. XVII, No. 6
- CIPEC webinar highlights RETScreen’s value in determining project feasibility
- Extensive HVAC retrofit at Molson Coors Canada Montreal site reaps significant savings and an Énergia 2012 prize
- SmartWay comes to Canada
- BC Hydro’s, on-line incentive program, Self-Serve, attracts companies in droves
- Producing energy-conscious paper at Catalyst Paper
- Upcoming events
- Dollars to $ense Energy Management Workshops
- New CIPEC Leaders
- Call for story ideas
CIPEC webinar highlights RETScreen’s value in determining project feasibility
The RETScreen® Clean Energy Project Analysis software is an invaluable tool for evaluating energy projects. As a recent CIPEC webinar demonstrated, RETScreen can help companies develop energy efficiency measures and implement the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems standard. The webinar entitled Introduction to RETScreen was held in February and offered more than 100 participants an overview of the software with a focus on the Energy Efficiency project analysis and Energy Performance modules. Nathalie Meloche, Projects Manager at CanmetENERGY – Varennes Research Centre, presented a synopsis of RETScreen International’s comprehensive Web site, from where the free software can be downloaded.
RETScreen 4 is an Excel®-based clean energy project analysis software tool that helps decision makers quickly and inexpensively determine the technical and financial viability of potential renewable energy, energy efficiency and cogeneration projects. RETScreen Plus is a Windows-based energy management software tool that allows project owners to easily verify the ongoing energy performance of their facilities.
“RETScreen is based on a five-step analysis that includes cost, emission, financial, sensitivity and risk analyses all designed to reduce the cost and time of preparing accurate feasibility studies,” says Meloche. The software includes various databases such as climate, benchmark and product and can generate graphs for a number of variables for proposed energy efficiency scenarios.
Meloche took participants through the RETScreen Software Suite, from the Start page through risk analysis, describing and demonstrating different analysis and training resources along the way. She used examples such as the comparison between standard and premium efficiency motors to illustrate the utility and efficacy of the software. Moreover, Meloche explained a performance analysis feedback loop that includes the measurement, compilation, analysis and presentation of data that leads to action and results.
Following Meloche’s presentation, Alexandre Bourcier, Manager of Energy Resources at Rio Tinto Alcan, presented the company’s energy management strategy, which hinges on process improvement, using waste heat from auxiliary production and optimizing buildings heating. Bourcier described how the company has successfully used the RETScreen Software Suite to help meet its energy efficiency improvement goal of 1 percent annual reduction in energy use.
Rio Tinto Alcan’s Commercial Energy Team is responsible for keeping energy costs as low as possible by focusing on projects that lead to complementary electrical power production, lower supply costs and best management of consumption peaks. “We use RETScreen to quantify the value of potential waste heat recovery projects at sites with significant steam or electricity production,” notes Bourcier.
In summary, the RETScreen Software Suite allows for a rapid initial evaluation of the viability of a clean energy project. Potential projects can be further analyzed and evaluated using the software’s advanced features and tools. Bourcier says that the emissions tool, for example, is useful for quick comparisons between various fuel sources. Moreover, the various databases and tools help create an excellent overview of any given project’s profitability and allows for project ranking. Bourcier adds that using RETScreen means that costly third-party studies can be avoided, ultimately leading to more financially feasible projects.
Extensive HVAC retrofit at Molson Coors Canada Montreal site reaps significant savings and an Énergia 2012 prize
The energy efficiency efforts of Molson Coors Canada, CIPEC Leader in the Food and Beverage Sector, were recognized at the recent Énergia 2012 (in French only) awards ceremony, hosted by the Association québécoise pour la maîtrise de l’énergie (AQME), as the Montréal plant won in the industrial process (greater than $5 million) category. “This prize recognizes that we can brew high quality beer in an environmentally sustainable way,” notes Yves Gaudreault, the facility’s Power House Manager.
The winning initiative was the retrofit of nearly 100 HVAC units, about 90 percent, throughout the four largest buildings at the Montréal brewery. Gaudreault explains that the 20- to 40-year old equipment was no longer adapted to the current processes and needs of the plant.
The retrofits included installing two giant, high-velocity air curtains in front of two large loading dock doors, replacing steam air make-up units with direct combustion units that are close to 100 percent efficient and installing central process heat recovery units in four air conditioning units. Gaudreault notes that not only has automated control of HVAC equipment been optimized in this project but more of this equipment is now automatically controlled in the four buildings.
“Our project allowed us to reduce our annual natural gas consumption by 1 562 800 cubic metres (m3), or 39 percent, in the four buildings in question and to decrease our annual electricity consumption for heating those buildings by about 1 609 400 kilowatt hours, or 65 percent,” notes Gaudreault. The total cost of the retrofit came to $875,000 after incentives of $345,000 and $240,000 from Gaz Métro and Hydro Québec, respectively, leading to a payback period of just under two years.
Gaudreault explains that Molson Coors has a goal of reducing annual energy consumption by around 5 percent for each of its facilities, which, while aggressive, has largely been realized by the Montréal plant every year since 2007. The plant has an energy team, as does every Molson Coors site, that shares best practices at both the national and global level. Gaudreault notes that this happens at an annual energy congress as well as through teleconferences between comparable sites. The company also compares site performance based on the volume of beer produced to identify areas of improvement.
“It’s important for us to have competitive plants, and we are constantly looking for ways to increase our energy efficiency,” says Gaudreault, adding that the prize-winning upgrade was only one of many projects. For example, a recent heat recovery project, which uses heat from boiler exhaust gases to heat process water, has already provided significant natural gas savings, while the recent installation of variable speed drives on the motors in the refrigeration units has led to a reduction in electricity consumption.
SmartWay comes to Canada
“The arrival of SmartWay in Canada is timely. It offers our industry opportunities to learn and lead the way toward a sustainable transportation future,” says Dave Corcoran, National Director with Nestle Canada. Corcoran is referring to the recent expansion of the SmartWay Transport Partnership from the United States (U.S.) into Canada. SmartWay is an international network that links manufacturers, retailers and logistics providers looking to green their operations with fuel-efficient freight carriers. It enables companies involved in freight movement to improve their fuel efficiency and environmental performance and promote supply chain sustainability.
The SmartWay Transport Partnership, started in 2004 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is a public-private partnership that aims to save fuel and reduce emissions in the freight sector. Since that launch, more than 270 Canadian companies have become partners, says Tanya Contant, Partner Account Manager, SmartWay, noting that, “there is clearly an appetite within Canadian industry for this kind of program.” There are many benefits, indicates Contant. For example, when companies register to become SmartWay Partners, they gain access to a range of resources and tools for both carriers and shippers that offers a systematic way to measure, track and report freight-related fuel use. By joining SmartWay, shippers can compare the environmental performance of their carriers, make their goods movement more efficient and reduce fuel costs.
The Canadian program is identical to the U.S. program except that program tools and materials are in metric measurements and available in English and French. SmartWay Partners can choose whether they use the Canadian or U.S. tools. The SmartWay Partner listposted on both the Natural Resources Canadian (NRCan) and EPA Web sites will include all SmartWay partners, regardless of which country they registered through.
SmartWay gives participating companies access to a mode-specific benchmarking and tracking tool. Tools for truck carriers, logistics providers, and shippers are currently available online, while tools for the other modes of freight transportation are under development in collaboration with the EPA and industry.
Carriers complete their tool by providing information on their fleet and operations. They can then use the results from the tool to benchmark their performance and track year-over-year improvements as well as compare their emissions performance with their peers. NRCan is also available to provide tools, training and other resources to help truck carriers improve their performance.
“The creation of a North American SmartWay program is a welcome initiative,” says Stephen Laskowski, Vice-president of the Ontario Trucking Association. “With interest from the Canadian-based shipping community, this program will only grow the number of Canadian carriers who are already a part of the U.S. program.”
Once a year, SmartWay ranks all truck carriers for emissions evaluations to rate them by using the emissions information provided in the truck carriers tool. These ranked carriers are then sorted into five “bins,” with the top 20 percent of fleets put in bin one, the next 20 percent in bin two, and so forth. An average emissions rate is then calculated for each emission type; this value is assigned to all fleets in a particular bin.
Shippers and logistics providers can use their tool to calculate the emissions footprint of their operations. As part of completing their respective tool, shippers and logistics providers are asked to select the carriers they use. When they select a SmartWay carrier, that carrier’s emissions performance numbers are included in the calculation of the emissions footprint of the shipper or logistics provider. By choosing more-efficient SmartWay partners, shippers and logistics providers can improve their emissions performance and reduce the carbon footprint of their transportation activities. Many companies in the U.S., such as IKEA, Walmart and Procter & Gamble, are taking advantage of this opportunity to reduce their emissions by requiring all their carriers to be SmartWay partners. This strategy helps them reflect a more sustainable environmental image at a time when greening supply chains is becoming increasingly important. And, like SmartWay carriers, SmartWay shippers and logistics providers can use the SmartWay tool to measure their emissions performance improvements over time.
As Gerry Rolufs, Director, Distribution and Order Fulfillment at Catalyst Pulp and Paper Sales, explains, “as a shipper, SmartWay demands we use transportation partners who meet fuel efficiency and emission reduction targets in a verifiable manner… our customers want transparency and SmartWay delivers this transparency.”
BC Hydro’s, on-line incentive program, Self-Serve, attracts companies in droves
“BC Hydro’s Self-Serve Incentive Program (SIP) was the perfect fit for our needs,” notes Jason Notley, buyer at Ellett Industries Ltd., in describing the compressor retrofit that was made possible by the program.
Ellett Industries designs and fabricates high performance alloy equipment, such as heat exchangers, pressure vessels, evaporators and crystallizers for a variety of process industries. The company, located in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, employs between 50 and 100 people, depending on the production schedule. The 8360-square metre facility is in operation 80 hours a week year-round.
In 2011, when Ellett Industries shifted its sand blasting off-site, Notley realized that the air compressor associated with the process was oversized and drawing a disproportionately large amount of energy. An energy audit confirmed this, and the company’s air compressor vendor informed Notley’s team about BC Hydro’s SIP offering. Ellett was eligible and replaced its 150-horse power (hp) compressor with a 75-hp variable speed compressor in early 2012. A $32,000 incentive from SIP covered nearly 60 percent of project costs and resulted in a payback period of about two years.
"Our compressor drew roughly 30 percent of our total energy consumption, so we were hoping for a 15 percent annual savings or about 175 000 kilowatt hours (kWh) on our electricity bill,” says Notley. Although variations in production make it difficult to determine energy savings precisely, Notley has noticed a significant reduction in consumption in January 2013 compared to January 2012 when workloads were comparable.
Notley says access to SIP was easy, and once the project was approved, implementation was equally smooth. "If you're in a position to upgrade some of your equipment, and you can get someone else to pay for it, why wouldn't you?" Ellett could be a repeat SIP customer with a potential lighting retrofit in the future.
Rob Raymond, Industrial Program Manager at BC Hydro, explains how SIP works for eligible customers – those who use more than 500 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually. Eligible applicants should request a system assessment from their compressed air or lighting vendor that aims to identify potential savings and project costs. BC Hydro will provide contacts for vendors. Once a customer decides to proceed with a project, their selected vendor can assist in the online SIP application. Raymond notes that projects must be registered and incentives approved before any equipment is purchased. Upon approval, project equipment can be purchased and incentives are paid about three weeks after project completion. “The process is quick due to the small and simple nature of the projects,” notes Raymond.
Incentives are currently available for compressed air systems (between 40 and 200 hp) and industrial lighting projects. Raymond notes that although the SIP’s primary target market is the smaller industrial customer, larger companies may also apply for these incentives, as long as the systems to be upgraded fall within program guidelines.
“In its pilot year ending March 31, 2012, SIP funded 70 lighting and compressed air retrofit projects that resulted in more than 5 gigawatt hours (GWh) of annual energy savings,” says Raymond, adding that a range of industrial sectors and sizes of enterprises have taken advantage of SIP. The program is now in its second year and Raymond indicates that it is on track to reach 120 projects by March 31, 2013, and is forecasted to achieve 200 projects leading to about 20 GWh in savings in the following year.
Producing energy-conscious paper at Catalyst Paper
“Our company’s energy management goal is to make the most efficient use of energy, to maximize internal generation and manage energy use in accordance with off-peak periods,” says Carlo Dal Monte, Director of Energy at Catalyst Paper Corporation, and for more than a decade, the company has been realizing these goals.
Catalyst Paper, a CIPEC Leader in the Forest Products sector, is a manufacturer of various specialty papers, newsprint and pulp with mills in Port Alberni, Powell River and Crofton, British Columbia. The mills employ about 1600 people and have an annual combined production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes. Dal Monte explains that the company purchases approximately 300 megawatts (MW) of power annually, which represents over 6 percent of BC Hydro’s supply.
“With power cost increases and energy representing a significant portion of our production costs, the motivation for energy management and conservation is always there,” says Dal Monte. Back in the 1990s, Catalyst Paper was already involved in BC Hydro’s energy saving programs. Since then, the company has been working continuously to reduce energy costs while decreasing its carbon footprint. To achieve these objectives, the company has site energy managers who implement the company’s sustainability vision by identifying and implementing projects that conserve energy.
For example, in 2011, a redundant process – a cleaner system on a mechanical pulping line – was eliminated at the Crofton mill, at no capital cost and no impact on product quality, for a 10-GWh annual savings in electricity for that site. Also in 2011, steam exhausted from the turbine that is used in the paper machine was set at a fixed pressure; with some programming, the steam pressure is now automatically controlled to meet process needs and to optimize power generation – saving the Crofton facility an additional 4 GWh in electricity annually.
Product development also has a significant energy component. The development of a lightweight 40 grams/m2 (g/m2) newsprint, for instance, has saved the company 23 GWh annually compared to the production of the traditional 43 to 45 g/m2 newsprint without compromising quality. Dal Monte also explains that each facility has a sophisticated energy management system that helps identify energy issues.
In addition to Catalyst Paper’s energy conservation efforts, the company also maximizes self-generated energy by burning biomass that is largely comprised of hog fuel (bark chips and wood). Biomass energy represents 85 percent of the company’s thermal energy needs.
Finally, all these efforts have led to carbon dioxide emission reductions by nearly 85 percent compared to 1990 levels.
For a complete list of industrial events, visit
New CIPEC Leaders
Lafarge Canada Inc. – Winnipeg, Man.
Smucker Food of Canada Co. – Sherbrooke, Que.
Av Cell Inc. – Atholville, N.B.
Twin River Paper Company Inc. – Edmunston, N.B.
Call for story ideas
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