Efficiency Upgrades Improve Milk Manufacturer’s Competitiveness

Mountain Lake’s largest customer, Milk Specialties, operates a whey-processing plant on the east side of the city. Operating around the clock, it produces around 800,000 pounds of protein each week from shipments of whey. The protein is used in sports nutrition and functional food applications.

Milk Specialties’ production has more than quadrupled over the last decade, as the global demand for dairy protein products has skyrocketed.

Sports nutrition is a large and growing market and is also intensely competitive. Changes in input costs could translate into big shifts in market share. So, Milk Specialties tightly manages all its costs, including electricity.

That’s where Energy Insight comes in. Since, 2015, Energy Insight’s engineers and analysts assisted with determining energy savings, provided payback analyses, verified implementation, and processed rebates that lowered Milk Specialties’ electric bill by about $72,000 per year. Another eight projects underway will save an additional $57,000 annually, estimated Margit Barot, an energy engineer with Energy Insight. That’s real money for a facility with annual electric bills of about $750,000.

“It’s a huge time saver for us to have Energy Insight analyze efficiency opportunities, make recommendations, schedule the contractors to do the work, and process rebate applications,” Eric said. “The variable-speed drives we installed on our motors reduced the stress on those motors, which extended the lives of the equipment and lowered future replacement costs.”

“If we had to do all of the paperwork for the rebates, it would be a very time-consuming endeavor. Energy Insight’s partnership with Mountain Lake produces real value for us,” he continued. “Our partnership made efficiency upgrades possible, and it makes us more competitive in the global protein market.”