Employees at Smoky Canyon Mine have dramatically achieved energy and cost savings by adding equipment that can more efficiently perform an important job. Not only did their project boost savings, it also resulted in an incentive check from the local utility company.
Energy savings are approximately of 1.8 million kilowatt hours per year. To put it in perspective, that same amount of energy could provide power for 154 average American households for a year.
The project involved reducing the amount of water pumped from the mine's tailings pond to the mill where phosphate rock is processed. Six 450-horsepower pumps being used to extract water from the tailings pond were replaced with modern, high efficiency equipment.
Project completion was in the spring of 2012 in partnership with Lower Valley Energy, a cooperative funded by the Bonneville Power Administration.
The Smoky Canyon leadership viewed it as prime opportunity to join with the utility company and create an energy-efficiency project. The new equipment has already exceeded expectations.
The project is part Smoky Canyon’s commitment to saving energy and Simplot’s initiative to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent over a 10-year period.