Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that the Department of Energy is awarding $9 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for industrial energy efficiency projects in Maine. The awards are part of $155 million in funding announced today for industrial combined heat and power systems, district energy systems for industrial facilities, and grants to support technical and financial assistance to local industry. The industrial sector uses more than 30 percent of U.S. energy and is responsible for nearly 30 percent of U.S. carbon emissions.
“To remain globally competitive, American industry needs to be energy efficient. The funding for industrial energy efficiency technologies announced today will support a robust American industrial sector and help to usher in a clean energy economy,” said Secretary Chu. “Many companies already realize that improving efficiency saves money while helping the environment. These projects will make energy efficiency technologies more widely available, cutting energy use and reducing carbon pollution across the country.”
Verso Paper Corporation will immediately deploy waste energy recovery technologies at sites in Jay and Bucksport, Maine, along with a site in Sartell, Minnesota. The project will receive more than $9.3 million to implement a portfolio of small waste energy recovery projects with a priority given to the paper mills that will generate the greatest energy savings and can be implemented immediately. The bundled project has an overall efficiency of 33%, and will save an estimated 1.28 trillion Btu annually.
This combined heat and power system generates both the heat and power needed for industrial processes on-site, instead of using electricity from the grid, and can be nearly twice as efficient as conventional heat and power production.
“Many Maine companies have embraced energy efficiency technologies and practices because it is good for business,” said Congressman Mike Michaud. “All the projects announced, including Verso’s, will not only improve energy efficiencies, but also lead to longer term savings for area businesses. Nationally, this is a competitive issue for the United States. Other countries are moving fast to adopt these practices and our country can’t afford to be behind the curve.”