De Pere – Expera Specialty Solutions earned an Energy Efficiency Excellence Award on Thursday for its commitment to reduce energy waste at its Nicolet Mill.
“I think this award is really a good symbol and recognition of what a good program is,” said Chris Williams, Expera-Nicolet Mill Manager. “It’s people working together to find solutions. We couldn’t have done it ourselves.”
Expera-Nicolet has been active in identifying and implementing energy-reduction projects. The facility, a Wisconsin Public Service(WPS) customer, has worked with the utility and Focus on Energy on energy assessments of mill processes, and then integrated many changes based on the results.
“We look back 3-4 years ago, we were thinking we didn’t have any more ideas,” Williams told Expera-Nicolet Mill employees who gathered for the award presentation. “So we brought in other people to look at what we do, and maybe not give us the final answer but spark the right questions to get this team together and figure out what we can do to save money.”
“It means a lot to Wisconsin Public Service,” said WPS Account Manager Julie Green. “We try very hard, especially with our large commercial and industrial customers to find energy conservation projects like this.”
Recent energy efficiency projects at Expera-Nicolet include LED lighting upgrades, steam system management upgrades, and installation of higher-efficiency agitators and pulper rotors. Incentives through the Focus on Energy large energy users program helped offset part of the cost of the improvements.
“Without that support from Focus on Energy, a good portion of those projects wouldn’t have happened,” Williams said after receiving the award. “It’s a win for the mill, a win for the community, and a win for the environment.”
Focus on Energy is working with utility companies across the state to present 16 Energy Efficiency Excellence Awards to outstanding businesses, schools and institutions.
A recent evaluation report found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy programs creates $5.93 in benefits for Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs, and reduced pollution.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit focusonenergy.com.
Expera Specialty Solutions manufactures the most tailored specialty paper products for the most technical applications. Expera engineers every level of fiber-based performance, from natural paper products to extreme solutions that withstand the most rigorous processing and conversion. In addition to the Nicolet Mill in De Pere, the company has mills in Mosinee, Rhinelander and Kaukauna.
Pictured above from left to right:
Back row – Tim Hasbargen, Focus on Energy.. Bruce Schobleske, Expera Manufacturing and Engineering Team.. Ben Wiegand, Expera Manufacturing and Engineering Team.. Jay Wright, Expera Manufacturing and Engineering Team.. Al Paque, Expera Manufacturing and Engineering Team
Front row – Julie Green, WPS Account Manager.. Jolene Sheil, Wisocnsin Public Service Commission.. Chris Williams, Expera-Nicolet Mill Manager.. Scott Dercks, Expera Manufacturing and Engineering Team