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Energy at Factories: Camfil Boosts Efficiency; Clif Bar Touts Solar

Linda Hardesty

Energy Manage CamfilCamfil, a manufacturer of air filters, spent $1.9 million to upgrade its manufacturing facility in Crystal Lake, Ill. A cornerstone of the project was improving the energy efficiency of the 45-year-old factory, which produces air filters to help hospitals, manufacturing facilities and office buildings reduce their HVAC energy costs by up to 30 percent. The facility currently employs 65 full-time workers.

In other news, Clif Bar reports that the 531 kW solar array it installed at its headquarters in August 2011 is producing 791,336 kWh per year – 9.6 percent above its expected generation. The solar system is saving the company about $145,000 per year in energy costs. The 1,968 Suntech modules use wireless sensors to allow granular monitoring of performance from each solar module. The developer of the installation, Solar Light and Power, surmises that the Tigo Energy Maximizers installed on each of the 1,968 modules are the key reason the system is delivering so far above the estimates.

USG, a manufacturer of building products, has entered into a 20-year solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with Green Light Plaster City Solar to install a 1 MW PV system at its Plaster City, Calif., manufacturing plant. Green Light Plaster City Solar along with local engineering firm ZGlobal will install solar cells on eight acres of USG’s Plaster City site. Installation began in September and should be completed by December. Currently, the Imperial Irrigation District provides all of the USG plant’s energy. IID rates are expected to increase at an unknown rate, but with the PPA, USG expects to save more than $1 million over the 20-year life of the project through lowered electricity costs.



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