One of the most energy-efficient facilities in the world is just next door to Portage la Prairie at the J.R. Simplot facility. They're enjoying that status as a result of cooperation with Efficiency Manitoba. As a result, the company will enjoy substantial savings in its energy bills while they're more than doubling their potato processing capacity.

Efficiency Manitoba industrial programs lead Tracy Moroz says it started when the company first set out to engage in their huge expansion construction.

"Several years ago, Simplot announced the expansion of their facility by 400,000 square feet," says Moroz. "We were working with them to make sure that energy efficiency was incorporated into the design and implementation throughout their facility, including not only just the construction of the facility itself but also the production and operations that relate to the equipment and its processes within."

She notes the construction phase incorporated everything from HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and lighting to all that's related to its mechanical systems.

"They are one of the largest potato processing facilities in the world and there are several manufacturing and potato processing related equipment throughout the facility," continues Moroz. "That contributed significantly to the energy savings and bill savings that they're going to realize."

Moroz explains Efficiency Manitoba has an energy savings target for the province, and this added to the target quite substantially.

"Conversations began with Simplot several years ago, and there was a lot of collaboration between Simplot personnel, Efficiency Manitoba, as well as the private sector manufacturers, distributors, and design consultants," notes Moroz. "It was to design and incorporate the energy efficiency upgrades and quantifying all the economics and justifying the investment in the energy-efficient technologies."

She says this effort doesn't only benefit the province as it seeks to reach an overall target of energy efficiency, but helps us who live nearby and Simplot's own energy bills.

"It's great to Simplot themselves with energy savings and bill savings, but also environmental sustainability and the economic impact to the Manitoba economy," adds Moroz.

Moroz says they're extremely excited for these kinds of investments in energy efficiencies, noting it makes them more competitive in the marketplace. 

Efficiency Manitoba is a crown corporation.