OIT Times: Wisconsin Brings Energy Management Best Practices to Metal Casting, Forest Products and Others
September 24, 2001
Shortly after Wisconsin became a 'State IOF', the state government was given the responsibility for promoting energy efficiency task usually performed by public utilities. The change was timely, according to Preston Schutt of the Wisconsin Division of Energy. "IOF provided an outreach model to help us get our industrial programs off the ground quickly," he said.
Key to the effort, he noted, is promoting OIT Best Practices to Wisconsin's industries. "Our goal is to work with our firms to institutionalize energy efficiency best practices. We will also work with suppliers to ensure the marketplace provides those goods and services," said Schutt. "We're about to kick this effort into high gear."
Wisconsin began its state IOF program focusing on metal casting and forest products, two of its largest industries. About 80 of the state's 260 metal casters came together for the first time to create a roadmap with 14 action items. Enthusiasm was so high for one item that work began right away. About 10 small foundries are working to pool their waste foundry sand to attain sufficient volume and consistency for aftermarket uses. This pilot project could lead to other regional collaborations whereby several foundries band together to provide sand suitable for reuse in asphalt production. This could save significantly on disposal costs and landfill space.
The first forest products roadmap sessions brought together more than 40 representatives whose draft roadmap is currently out for comment. Partnerships forged at the meeting have already led to the submission of a number of proposals to OIT's NICE3 technology demonstration grant program.
Future plans for Wisconsin IOF include expanding participation in other key industries such as glass, chemicals and agriculture. Biotechnology, a growing industry in the state with more than 3000 organizations in the Madison area alone, is another potential focus industry.