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Frozen french fries

Frozen french fries

Potato Processor Lamb Weston recently implemented new refrigeration equipment in its Hermiston plant, which company executives said will save 12 million kilowatt hours annually.

Project manager Brian Jackson said the new equipment has been operational for about a year, and similar technology will be implemented at the new facility, currently being built in Hermiston.

For completing this major energy-saving project, Lamb Weston's Electricity supplier, the Umatilla Electric Cooperative presented the potato processor with a check of a half-million dollars.

It is the second time in a week Lamb Weston received a check...

Brian Jackson, Project Manager:

“It’s a state-of-the art engine room and refrigerating system.”

“It’s newer technology, and requires less horsepower for the same freezing functions.”

Jackson said implementing the new technology did not affect productivity, and the only pauses in production were during planned power outages.

Brian Jackson, Project Manager:

“This is a significant portion of our process, since we’re a frozen potato production company.”

Steve Meyers of UEC said since 2010, Lamb Weston has participated in energy efficiency programs and has saved 34 million kilowatt hours per year.

Brian Jackson, Project Manager:

“That’s equivalent to 3,100 homes.”

According to UEC, Lamb Weston invested $3.5 million for efficiency upgrades, and energy savings were 18 percent higher than expected. The project took 16 months to implement.

Bonneville Power Administration, which supplies power for UEC, Energy Smart Industrial and Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative, were all involved with the project, as well.