FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
-Focus on Energy Program Helps Company Reduce Energy Costs With Reengineered Compressed Air System-
FOND DU LAC, Wis., (January 31, 2005) – The world’s leading manufacturer of marine propulsion systems, Mercury Marine incorporates energy intensive manufacturing and aluminum casting processes throughout the facility. Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation, has more than one million square feet of manufacturing space in its Fond du Lac, Wis., facility. Because of the amount of energy being used the company has taken a proactive approach in identifying processes and equipment that are energy inefficient.
“We knew we needed to improve our compressed air system and we wanted to make sure that we took advantage of every efficiency opportunity we could,” said Jerry Eaton, Mercury Marine’s central facilities manager.
The company began working with Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy program in 2000. Since then, the two groups have worked together on many projects to help Mercury Marine lower its electricity consumption. Most recently the company completely reengineered its compressed air system, lowering electric usage of the system by over 50 percent and saving an estimated $625,000 in annual energy costs.
The significant savings resulted from replacing and centralizing facility air compressors, installing new controls and increasing system capacitance. The efficiency measures are expected to reduce Mercury Marine’s annual energy consumption by over 9,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity – enough to power almost 1,000 average Wisconsin homes. Mercury Marine also will recover the waste heat from the compressors for space heating during the winter. This is anticipated to save almost 135,000 therms, enough to heat almost 150 average Wisconsin homes.
Added Eaton, “We now have a central compressed air system that is less costly to operate and one that is truly reliable. Maintaining a set pressure of +/- 0.2 pounds per square inch (psi) throughout is important to us.”
The compressed air project was completed in August 2004. Mercury Marine has an energy management team that continually explores energy efficiency opportunities within their facilities. Some of the upcoming energy efficiency projects include a plant-wide delamping project, demand-side compressed air follow-up and elimination of artificial demand.
Eaton is most appreciative of the partners who came together to make this project a success. “I would encourage other companies interested in becoming more energy efficient to check into Focus on Energy’s technical services, vendor ally referral and project grants,” said Eaton.
Mercury Marine’s new central compressed air system prevents the emission of more than four million pounds of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year – the environmental equivalent of removing 283 cars from the road.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership offering energy information and services to energy utility customers throughout Wisconsin. The goals of this program are to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, enhance the environment and ensure the future supply of energy for Wisconsin. Since July 2001, the program has helped Wisconsin’s businesses and residents cut their annual utility bills by almost $53 million – reducing their annual energy consumption by more than 515 million kilowatt-hours and more than 25 million therms of natural gas. For more information, call 800-762-7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.