Pennsylvania-based PaperWorks Industries Inc. has invested $3.5 million in an effort to reduce energy consumption at its Wabash plant. The work was completed with the assistance of Duke Energy, which provided incentives to the company.
PaperWorks used the investment to overhaul its pulp recycling system at the Wabash plant by eliminating large motors and pumps. Duke Energy says a large portion of the facility is dedicated to stock cleaning, in which paper is prepared to be recycled.
The efforts have led to an increase in efficiency and an 11 percent reduction in electricity consumption, according to the company.
"We were able to make changes that improved our efficiency but still maintain high product quality and production rates," said Chris Wetherford, general manager of PaperWorks Industries. "We factor environmental responsibility into all of our decisions and try to look at the big picture while operating in a way that’s good for our business as well as the environment."
Duke Energy offered PaperWorks a $1.13 million incentive payment through its Smart$aver Custom program, which provides incentives to reduce the costs of purchasing and installing high-efficiency equipment. Duke Energy says it gave $12 million in incentives to companies in 2016.
"Energy efficiency is one of the least expensive energy resources," said Shawn South with Duke Energy. "The most economical power plant is the one we don’t have to build, and programs like this help us delay building new plants, which helps manage costs for all of our customers."