This research focused on wastewater treatment within the food processing sector, as the former is often a peripheral operation, the demand response opportunities have been overlooked. However it is an energy-intensive process and electricity demand is especially high during the utilities’ summer peak electricity demand periods. This makes such wastewater treatment facilities prime candidates for demand response programs. Phase I of this wastewater demonstration project monitored wastewater energy and environmental data at Bell-Carter Foods, Inc., California’s largest olive processing plant. For this monitoring activity the project team used Green Energy Management System (GEMS) automated enterprise energy management (EEM) technologies. This report presents results from data collected by GEMS from September 15, 2008 through November 30, 2008, during the olive harvest season. This project established and tested a methodology for (1) gathering baseline energy and environmental data at an industrial food-processing plant and (2) using the data to analyze energy efficiency, demand response, daily peak load management, and environmental management opportunities at the plant. The Phase I goals were to demonstrate the measurement and interrelationship of electricity demand, electricity usage, and water quality metrics and to estimate the associated CO2 emissions.
State energy planners and electric utilities are interested in opportunities to reduce peak electric demand in the food processing sector using Demand Response (DR) programs and technologies. However, the industrial sector and food processing, in particular, pose unique challenges for DR implementation. The feasibility of DR depends on plant operating schedules and supply chain needs, and plant operators have been reluctant to adjust production schedules where productivity and economics may suffer. Hence DR for the industrial sector does not fit the “buildings model” for which DR has been successfully demonstrated and implemented. However, the results of this scoping study indicate that significant potential for DR can be realized in this sector given coordination, tools and incentives planned from a perspective of plant operations. These findings may also apply to other areas of California’s industrial sector.