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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 –
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
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.
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
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,
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 www.dairybusiness.com