Saving Energy Program comes to Southern Oregon Plywood mills

Timber Products partners with Energy Trust of Oregon to implement a Strategic Energy Management Program and save energy in both Medford and Grants Pass Plywood mills.

The goal of the Strategic Energy Management program (SEM) is to evaluate, manage, and find low-effort ways to save energy and improve efficiency in facilities of all types. Some of the ways the facilities are able to achieve this is by identifying and addressing common issues such as air leaks, or by ensuring that pieces of equipment are not left on unnecessarily.

The program will also help facilities better understand how and where the energy is being used. This would involve a one-year-long partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon, in which at the end of the year, Timber Products will receive a cash incentive based on the amount of energy the company saved over the year by completing energy-saving projects.

“Our goal is to reduce electricity consumption at the Grants Pass and Medford Plywood plants by 5%,” said Glenn Rossi, Mechanical Engineer in Medford. “If we are able to accomplish this, we will save roughly 500,000 kWh at Grants Pass and 600,000 kWh at Medford Plywood.”

In December of last year, engineers were able to do an ultrasonic air leak sweep at Grants Pass and Medford Plywood using a piece of equipment provided by Energy Trust of Oregon. The device functioned as a detector for specific frequency ranges of air leaks. Once the leaks were identified, they were tagged so that the maintenance team could easily locate and fix them. These identified leaks were determined to be costing approximately $5000 annually at each site.

Earlier this year, the engineering team performed walkthroughs with Energy Trust of Oregon personnel in Grants Pass and Medford Plywood in the hopes of finding more ways to save energy. “A list of potential projects were created during these walkthroughs. Currently, we are prioritizing and working on projects from the walkthroughs,” Rossi stated.

In addition, Energy Trust of Oregon acts as a consulting service to help find energy-saving projects and calculate potential energy savings. To calculate the energy savings, their engineers work directly with facilities to create an energy model specific to the site that predicts daily energy use based on multiple energy drivers such as production, and ambient temperature.

The company is committed to analyzing energy use in all stages of production, monitoring energy use, creating strategies to maximize production while minimizing energy, and spreading awareness of energy consumption to employees. The company’s goal is to reduce energy consumption by 5% at the Medford and Grants Pass plywood plants by the end of 2024.