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Mission Produce Saves $74,456 Annually With Energy Efficient Technology

 
Mission Produce, an international importer, processor and exporter of avocados, was founded in 1983 and has since grown to be a global entity in the industry. A key component to Mission Produce’s success is their participation in the Save on Energy energy efficiency programs. It allows them to implement conservation strategies that lower costs and improve their bottom line. “Most companies just accept utility bills as they are. That’s common practice. But people don’t realize that there are opportunities for savings if you’re smart in the processes and systems you apply, and that is when you are going to stand out from the competition,” said Nick Llanos, Engineering Project Manager at Mission Produce.
 
BACKGROUND
When Mission Produce expanded their Burlington, Ontario facility, they wanted to implement new energy efficient technologies that would yield savings. With the support of their hydro company, Burlington Hydro, Mission Produce applied for the Save on Energy Process & Systems program. The program is designed to help organizations with complex systems and processes to identify and implement energy efficiency projects from start to finish. “We were excited to hear about the Save on Energy program. We are always looking for opportunities to implement new technologies that reduce our energy costs. We like to be progressive in everything we do,” said Llanos. With the financial incentives available through the program, Mission Produce installed an advanced refrigeration system and new LED lighting in their facility.
  
REFRIGERATION AND LIGHTING UPGRADES
Mission Produce installed a high efficiency refrigeration system that consists of eight reciprocating compressors, two air-cooled condensers and eleven fan coil evaporators. The electricity savings are realized by the lower energy consumption of the fan motors through the use of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) and the central control system that optimizes the compressors, condensers and evaporator fans. “Now, at the most, three or four compressors are running. Most of the time, only one is running. Our system is able to go around in a sequence to balance out the run-time and change which is the primary compressor so that the stress is balanced out,” said Llanos. “We were able to design a system that is efficient and takes advantage of advanced controls to minimize our energy usage,” added Jake Nixon, Vice President of Engineering and Process Improvement.

Mission Produce also replaced their lighting with low-wattage LEDs and installed occupancy sensors throughout the building. “The LEDs really reduced our energy usage. They don’t require maintenance, and turn on immediately in the cold environment. There is also the added comfort factor. The great look and feel of the lights was a welcome surprise,” said Llanos.

RESULTS
The energy savings for both the refrigeration system and lighting were remarkable. The refrigeration system has reduced energy consumption by 663 MWh per year, delivering $68,289 in annual energy cost savings. The new LED lighting system reduced electricity usage by 68 MWh per year, which translates to over $6,000 in annual savings. “Now you can reinvest your savings and grow your sales.” said Llanos. “From our perspective, energy saving opportunities are everywhere, and the Save on Energy incentives are a big help to reach our goals.”
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