Efficiency Maine has awarded Sappi Fine Paper North America a $300,000 grant to improve the energy efficiency of 10 pumping systems at its Somerset Mill in Skowhegan.
Sappi will replace fixed-speed pumps on paper machine No. 3 with variable speed drives, which allow the pumping systems to better match energy consumption with process needs, according to a press release from the company. The new pumping systems are expected to reduce electricity consumption by more than 3.2 million kilowatt hours a year, which is comparable to the yearly electrical usage of about 300 homes. The company has already begun installing the new pumps and will continue work throughout the year by using scheduled routine maintenance shutdowns. The grant covers about half of the $600,000 project.
Efficiency Maine, a program of the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the Efficiency Maine Trust, administers funds for energy-saving programs from the PUC, the Energy and Carbon Savings Trust and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
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