Cement plant powered by the wind

By Peter Garforth, contributing editor

California Portland Cement Co. signed a 25-year contract with Southern California Edison that ensures a large portion of the power consumed at its Mojave, Calif. plant will be from a renewable energy source. In 2007, eight 3-megawatt wind turbines were installed in the Tehachapi (California) wind resource area by Alta Innovative Power Co., LLC. The turbines are expected to be fully operational in March 2008, to meet the plant’s electric power requirements.

California Portland has won numerous awards for its energy activities, including honors in the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star Partner of the Year program for three years in a row.

In March 2007, the Mojave plant won its second energy efficiency award from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine. This award recognizes the plant’s energy planning, applications of efficiency technologies and practices, and climate change mitigation efforts for the year 2006. The Mojave plant also received this honor at the 2005 awards ceremony — the first repeat winner in the same category in the six-year history of the awards. It continued to improve, and California Portland reduced its greenhouse gas emissions in 2006 by 31,247 metric tons compared to 2005.

California Portland has led the cement industry in energy efficiency, encouraging duplication of its efforts to save energy, emissions and dollars. Examples of energy-saving focus areas include high-efficiency process improvements, electrical and lighting systems, compressed air, mechanical systems and drives, plant operations, engineering, maintenance and public education.

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