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Willamette Falls Paper Company Cuts Waste With Energy Trust of Oregon Program

Seven high-return projects completed in the first year resulted in 290,318 kWh energy savings.

Willamette Falls Paper Company (WFPC) completed participation in Energy Trust of Oregon’s First Year Strategic Energy Management program (First Year SEM) and looks forward to participating in another year. Starting in October 2020, the facility participated in a SEM program resulting in total energy savings of 290,318 kWh, equivalent to 25 homes powered, or 203 metric tons of CO2 saved.

WFPC created an Energy Team and carried out a slate of First-Year SEM practices under the mentorship of a SEM coach. These significant efforts resulted in the implementation of seven energy-saving projects, including:
• Reduction of boosted water pressure
• Repair and shutoff of a process water pump to effluent pump
• Compressed air leak repair throughout the facility

“Last January, we performed a ‘Treasure Hunt’ and identified 56 potential energy-saving projects. Twelve were prioritized as low-cost, high-return opportunities, and we’ve already completed seven of them,” said Engineering Manager, Robert Hart. “We will continue the process, looking for opportunities and executing more projects in the coming year as conditions stabilize.”

“Our goal for this first year was to save 5% energy across the plant and to implement the tools, procedures, and organizational culture to save 38% over five years on an energy per ton production basis,” said Facility Manager, John Otnes.

Willamette Falls Paper has committed to another year of the SEM program with identified goals to develop and implement energy management plans, practices, policies and standard operating procedures that promote greater efficiency.

Dave Hall, SEM Coach with Energy Trust of Oregon, said, “It’s been a pleasure working with the Willamette Falls Paper team, and we are excited to continue the partnership for another year of SEM. Beyond the projects completed in their first year, the groundwork was laid to complete even more impactful projects this year. It’s clear the facility and employees have a long history of taking pride in their operation and are serious about creating a culture of energy efficiency. Their efforts and those of others throughout the region help keep energy costs down for everyone in the community.”

About Willamette Falls Paper Company

Paper has been a part of life in West Linn, Oregon, for over 130 years. WFPC’s leadership team brings a mix of technical and business experience that has re-established the organization and contributes to the economic life of the community beyond manufacturing. The mill’s core business is manufacturing coated and uncoated papers used in catalogs, magazines, commercial printing and envelopes. Most recently, the mill has begun work developing and innovating the use of non-traditional fiber sources such as pulp from wheat straw.

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