By Ryan Cornell
Valley Milk Products recently upgraded its lighting system, replacing more than 160 of its fluorescent and bulb high bay lights with T8 tube lights.
The new system will not only save energy, but also improve lighting quality and reduce electricity costs. The Strasburg manufacturing plant expects to cut its electricity usage and costs by nearly 62 percent as a result of the project.
Amber Sheridan, director of corporate communications at Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative -- which owns Valley Milk, said environmental conservation is "very important" to the company.
"It's important to know that farmers were the very first environmentalists," she said. "They made sure land was tillable for several generations...As we modernize our facilities, cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide is something we're constantly looking at doing."
Sheridan said the project took about two months to complete and cost $38,000, which would pay for itself in three years with the savings.
According to a news release, the project has indirectly reduced the amount of air pollution by 140.1 tons of carbon dioxide, which has an equivalent impact of saving 17, 396 gallons of gasoline annually or planting 39 acres of trees.
Orion Energy Systems developed the lighting technology now being used at the plant. Southpoint Solutions teamed up with Valley Milk to design and implement the project and gave the plant an Environmental Stewardship Award.
Hagan Grills, marketing coordinator at Southpoint Solutions, said the company gives about 50 of these awards out each year.
"It's awarded to anyone we do a project with that has a significant energy-efficient lighting project," she said. "We're trying to showcase those companies and the energy savings they accomplish through these lighting projects."
Based in Fort Mill, S.C., Southpoint Solutions predominantly installs energy-saving lighting systems in the Southeast.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or email@example.com