ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston, a division of ConAgra Foods, Omaha, Neb., was established in 1950, and continues to be a leading producer of frozen and SmartWatt ConAgra lightingprepared potato and vegetable products for the foodservice and retail industries. The company distributes its products to more than 100 different countries and operates 20 plants, with more than 6,000 employees worldwide.

In 2010, ConAgra Foods launched “Recipe for Growth,” a 5-year company-wide strategy dedicated to corporate citizenship. As part of this strategy, the company focuses on reducing energy consumption at all plants nationwide through the implementation of energy-efficiency measures. As of 2012, four ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston facilities in Richland, Quincy and Boardman, Wash., and Park Rapids, Minn., have made efforts to reduce their energy consumption, successfully achieving ENERGY STAR certification.

The challenge
ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston/RDO contacted SmartWatt Energy Inc., Ballston Lake, N.Y., to perform a full building audit of all lighting systems throughout their Park Rapids, Minn., facility, including processing spaces and a freezer warehouse for potential energy-savings upgrades. The company’s goals were to dramatically improve the quality and quantity of light for employees and to reduce their environmental impact.

The solution
SmartWatt Energy replaced 1,266 metal halide and T-12 fluorescent lighting fixtures with T-8 ones throughout the processing, packaging and storage areas, office, restrooms and maintenance and loading dock areas. SmartWatt Energy also installed LED high bays throughout the freezer warehouse, helping ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston/RDO shed 227.88 kW from their facility with a payback period of less than two years.

Smart savings
In addition to improved working conditions, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston/RDO will enjoy the following realized energy savings from this fluorescent and LED lighting upgrade project:

• Annual energy savings: $174,966

• Annual displaced energy: 2,294,410 kWh

• Utility Incentive: $63,446

Green impact
This project has led to the equivalent reduction of 3,441,615 pounds of carbon dioxide, removing pollutants from the air and having the same effect on the environment as planting 504 acres of trees, saving 181,482 gallons of gas, thus removing 325 cars from the road.

To learn more about other energy-efficient solutions from SmartWatt Energy, check out the Energy Management section of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ January 2014 issue.