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NPPD rewards Western Sugar for energy efficiency

A new ventilation system offers the region's sugar beet crop sweet rewards. The Nebraska Public Power District is rewarding Western Sugar Cooperative for installing a new energy efficient ventilation system.

On Thursday NPPD Account Manager Terry Rejewich presented Western Sugar with a $12 - thousand dollar energy wise rebate check.
She says this helps the customer with the initial costs and the new system is estimated to save the cooperative over $16 thousand dollars over the campaign. The new system will use 25 percent less energy than the previous system. The new ventilation system uses variable frequency drives to operate 20 motors that push air through the sugar beet pile, which reduces the coop's demand for electricity.

This year Western Sugar installed the new system at the Scottsbluff factory's piling yard and at the Hemingford piling yard. South Area Ag Manager Jerry Darnell says the project will helps the crop store longer.

The total ventilation project cost $2.8 million dollars. While it's a large payout, Darnell says the project will pay for itself in about 2 and half years.

Western Sugar has 100 - thousand tons of sugar beets being ventilated in Nebraska. Those beets will be the last sugar beets to be processed through the factory which is projected to wrap up in late February 2013.

Last year, Western Sugar installed a similar project in Sterling, Colorado where 26 thousand tons ventilation system. This year that project has expanded with the ability to cool 52 thousand ton of beets in Colorado.

After evaluating how this year's crop performs, Darnell says Western Sugar Cooperative will consider installing similar systems in Lovell, Wyoming and Billings, Montana.

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