Wisconsin paper mills cut costs with energy efficiency, hydropower

May 03, 2005

Stora Enso, a papermaking company with six paper mills in Wisconsin, has proved that significant energy savings are possible in the paper industry. Since 2001, Stora Enso has lowered its annual energy use at the six mills by 22 million kilowatt-hours and 3.6 million therms of natural gas, saving $3.5 million each year on energy. Wisconsin's Focus on Energy, the statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy program, worked with the company to employ such technologies as a dryer management system, which automatically adjusts the operating conditions of the paper dryers to maximize their efficiency. Focus on Energy also helped the company refurbish two old hydroelectric generators at one of its mills.

DOE considers papermaking to be part of the forest products industry, which is one of eight industries that are focused on by the Industries of the Future partnerships, part of DOE's Industrial Technologies Program. A recent review of the program by the National Research Council concluded that it is a well-managed and effective program, which leverages its resources through a large and growing number of partnerships. See the Industrial Technologies Program Web site and the National Research Council report.

Industrial energy efficiency is also the subject of this summer's conference sponsored by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The 2005 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry starts on July 19th in West Point, New York.