RUTLAND - You could call it was the biggest energy related summit in Vermont in years. On hand was a cross section of Vermont's key business and political leaders, north and south, were on hand to learn General Electric Aviation's secrets about its amazing energy reduction and cost savings efforts at its Rutland jet-engine manufacturing facility.
G.E. Aviation's Rutland facility shared its energy reduction strategies with leading Vermont industrial businesses along with state and Congressional leaders at a special meeting May 18 at the G.E. Aviation Rutland facility.
Since 2006, the G.E. Aviation Rutland facility and Efficiency Vermont have worked together to identify and implement energy savings programs at the 400,000-square-foot Windcrest Road and 100,000-square-foot Columbian Avenue locations. The team has completed 16 projects that have reduced the annual electrical usage by more than 15 million kWh and reduced CO2 emission by close to 8,000 tons. GE Aviation estimates its annual electrical cost savings is more than $1 million for both Rutland locations.
Examples of energy savings projects include:
Lighting upgrades: Changing lighting from high pressure sodium fixtures to high performance T8 high bay fixtures. Annual savings of close to 2.5 million kWh in electricity and reduction of 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions, as well improved lighting in manufacturing areas.
Right sizing equipment: Replacing eight over-sized rotary ovens with eight right-sized ovens and reduction in compressed air consumption. Annual savings of nearly 1 million kWh in electricity and reduction of more than 450 tons of CO2 emissions.
Aligning infrastructure to new processes: Changing two 100 HP ventilation systems to two 5 HP ventilation systems. Annual savings of more than 1 million kWh in electricity and reduction of more than 550 tons of CO2 emissions.
Reducing compressed air consumption:Replacing 11 air diaphragm pumps with 11 electric pumps. Annual savings of more than 440,000 kWh in electricity and reduction of close to 230 tons of CO2 emissions.
Creating employee energy awareness: Promoting energy conservation on the shop floor through employee awareness and simple equipment shut down and start up procedures in all production areas. This program, with little or no capital expense, yielded an estimated 12 percent electrical reduction in one year.
"The team's efforts have provided significant benefits to the site as well as the environment," said Dan DiBattista, plant manager for G.E. Aviation Rutland. "The energy savings is enough to power close to 900 Vermont homes annually and the CO2 emission reduction is the equivalent of removing close to 475 cars off the road each year."
The energy efficiency efforts are part of G.E.'s Ecomagination Initiative, which includes a commitment by G.E. to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent, water usage by 25 percent and energy intensity reduction by 50 percent.