Now, the two have joined ranks to create one of the largest energy savings projects ever in Bradley County and build their reputations as leaders in energy efficiency and efficient production.
With more than 20 plastic bottle product lines for popular beverages brands such as Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Sprite and Dasani, Southeastern Container has been one of Cleveland Utilities’ largest electrical customers and a significant employer in Bradley County since it began production here in 2000.
Always looking to improve efficiency, the company initiated an automated guided-vehicle program in 2005 that effectively replaced its need for forklifts in three of its 10 warehouses. When it sought this year to take energy savings at its already ultraefficient plant to the next level, Southeastern Container knew exactly who to ask.
“Cleveland Utilities has been a fantastic partner in helping us meet our goals and commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency and efficient manufacturing,” said Southeastern Container General Manager Marty Martin. “Their innovative programs, progressive thinking, and great service and assistance have helped us save money, cut operating costs, and become a better, more competitive company.”
As part of Cleveland Utilities’ Energy Right Solutions for Industry program, Southeastern Container installed new high efficiency fluorescent T8 lighting fixtures to replace existing metal halide lights that used more power.
This lighting improvement project is projected to save Southeastern Container about 1,511,000 kilowatt hours per year, for the life of the new lighting fixtures, at least eight to 10 years, while achieving better lighting for its manufacturing operations which cover more than 300,000 square feet. The savings are enough to power about 100 Tennessee Valley homes each year and cut about $124,000 per year from Southeastern Container’s electric bill for the life of the new fixtures.
In addition to the savings, an incentive of $116,000 was paid to Southeastern Container by the Tennessee Valley Authority upon completion of the efficient lighting renovation.
“Helping companies save energy helps them save money,” said Cleveland Utilities President and CEO Ton Wheeler.
“That attracts more industry, which creates more jobs and promotes local economic development. We are very pleased that the technical assistance and incentive payments in our Energy Right Solutions for Industry Greater than 5 Megawatts program have helped Southeastern Container achieve their energy savings goals.”
Cleveland Utilities continues to help Southeastern Container realize energy savings. For example, air compressors are one of the largest energy consumers for the plastic blow-molding process, and Southeastern Container is one of the largest blow-molders of plastic bottles in the United States. Cleveland Utilities is currently conducting an assessment of the plant’s compressed air system to help make it more energy efficient.
CU, which was established Aug. 16, 1939, and buys power from TVA, offers a range of services and assistance to its industrial customers, and partners with TVA in the Energy Right Solutions programs.
For more information on Southeastern Container, visit http://www.secontainer.com/. Read more about Cleveland Utilities at http://www.clevelandutilities.com/.