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SUSTAINABILITY By DBC Staff AT BALLARD DAIRY & CHEESE ENERGY EFFICIENCY BENEFITS DAIRY, ENVIRONMENT Changes to propane, lighting and milk cooling systems have resulted in energy, financial and environ- mental impact savings. Western dairies continue to create new models for sustainable, successful businesses – and recognition. Featured previously in DairyBusiness West, DeGroot Family’s Skyridge Farms, Sunnyside, Wash., Prairieland Dairy, Firth, Neb., and Mc- Carty Family Farms, Rexford, Kan., received “Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Awards” at the second annual national awards program in Washington, D.C. in late April. In addition, Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese, Gooding, Idaho received the Outstanding Achievement in Energy Efficiency Award; and Unilever, Henderson, Nev., received the Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufactur- ing Sustainability Award. The awards, presented by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, recognize dairy farms for practices delivering outstanding economic, environmental and/or social benefit. This month, DairyBusiness West concludes a three-month series, recognizing Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese, and Unilever. (VFD) vacuum pumps and high-efficiency modulation electric boilers, in addition to other best practices. Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese originally used a propane-fired steam boiler system, which was operating at 33% efficiency and consumed approximately 664 million British thermal units (BTUs) per year. The family decided to replace the boiler system with an evacuated tube collector solar thermal supply, heat pump and high-efficiency electric boiler. In making these upgrades, the dairy was able to switch from propane to electric, which resulted in a 50% reduction in fossil fuel use (due to the electric provider’s energy mix). The new system helped the Ballards achieve a 67% energy savings. Solar thermal now supplies approximately 50% of their heating load. Designed to meet the needs of the dairy as it expands, the hot water system has already resulted in $15,000 in savings and a carbon dioxide reduction of 89,500 lbs. Steve and Stacie Ballard, Gooding, Idaho, received the Outstanding Achievement in Energy Efficiency Award from the Innova- tion Center for U.S. Dairy. Milk cooling The milk cooling system carried fresh, 100° F milk through a heat exchanger, cooling it to 80° F. From there, it was cooled to 40° F in a chiller. The new system uses residual 40” F cold water from the heat pump system, pre-cooling Lighting changes the milk to 60° F before it’s sent to the chiller The dairy originally used a combination of and cooled to 40° F. The Ballards also added a incandescent, T-12 tube, halogen and high- intensity discharge lights. After an energy audit, more efficient plate heat exchanger. The upgrades save an estimated 1,000 they upgraded all lighting to energy efficient gallons of water daily. The family also has LED. They also added automatic lighting con- achieved significant annual cost savings of trols to help capture additional savings. $2,000, energy savings of 27,000 kWh, and In 1995, Steve and Stacie Ballard started The switch has resulted in annual energy carbon dioxide savings of 11,500 lbs.. their 35-acre dairy in Gooding, Idaho, with their savings of 35,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) and a The Ballards’ total project cost was son Travis. In 2004, the family added a cheese cost savings of $2,500. And, the Ballards esti- $130,000, with an estimated 5.5-year payback facility to process the milk from their Jersey mate they’ve reduced carbon dioxide output by period and a simple return on investment of herd. Today, Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese 5,500 lbs. through this update. 18%. Total annual savings from the energy has grown to 110 cows, producing 1.32 million reduction upgrades is $23,700 – more than 10% lbs. of milk annually. of the dairy’s overhead. The project also virtu- To stay competitive, the Ballards rec- ally eliminated the dairy’s need for propane, ognized they would need to aggressively saving approximately $15,000 annually. manage expenses – specifically, energy costs. The Ballards anticipate the actual payback To achieve their goals, the Ballards explored will be sooner than originally forecast. As their energy efficiency upgrades and infrastructure operation expands, they require less overall changes. They worked with a team, including energy than they would have with their previ- engineers and contractors, dairy associations, ous system. USDA, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, The Ballards believe that every farm has the Idaho Power Company and their local bank some aspect of energy management that can be to develop a custom efficiency project. improved, and – with proper direction and sup- The project included power phase conver- Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese is home to port – all dairies can improve their environmen- sion, automation and controls, improved venti- 110 cows and an artisan cheese making tal impact and bottom line. business, which was added in 2004. lation, installation of variable frequency drive 12 August 2013 DAIRYBUSINESSWEST
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