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Western U. S. Food Processing Efficiency Initiative

Food processing in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho is responsible for over $60 billion in product shipments each year and over 15 percent of the gross national product for industry. Food processing employs over 230,000 in these states, with payrolls exceeding $6.5 billion. It is also the fourth largest energy using industry in these states after petrochemicals, wood products, and semiconductors. International food price competition and high domestic energy costs require that the industry compete through efficiency, productivity, and product quality distinction.

This is a multi-year collaboration of the Oregon Department of Energy (Oregon), Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program, California Energy Commission (CEC), and Idaho Department of Water Resources Energy Division (Idaho), in cooperation with the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA), the California League of Food Processors (CLFP), Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (Alliance), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and Del Monte Foods. The title of this project is the “Western United States Food Processing Efficiency Initiative.” The project timeframe is 01/01/04-12/31/05.

This project will substantially improve access to information on the energy and water use efficiency of for the food processing industry in the Western states. It lays a foundation for the NWFPA and CLFP to establish and provide comprehensive efficiency services to all their members and other interested food processors. Partners are branding this collaborative initiative as Food processing Industry Resource Efficiency (FIRE) since products and outcomes will be valuable to this industry beyond the western states. This work will leverage the expertise, interests, and resources of the four Western states, the NW Energy Efficiency Alliance Alliance (a unique regional electric utility association), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories BNL (a national research laboratory), and DelMonte Foods. Partners will develop:

  • the develop a definitive body of knowledge about food processing energy and water use efficiency and best practices, opportunities,
  • and establish a comprehensive resource on emerging technologies in food processing,
    • provide an effective framework for communicating that information, and
    • hold education and training workshops to deliver the newly consolidated technical resources.

Using industry advisory groups in California and the Northwest, this planning network and partnership, in conjunction with industry leaders, will maintain a dialog for information sharing and selection. Improvement and maintenance of this framework will have both forums and format help to continue developing this resource and widen use within the national food and other interested manufacturing industry.

This proposal will result in measurable energy savings and emissions reductions. Six or more demonstration projects will be completed with matching funds. Energy savings will exceed 7,300 million British thermal units (MMBtu) resulting from energy savings of 550,000 kilowatt hours per year and over 55,000 therms of natural gas. We expect that this proposal will stimulate a significant number of other food processing projects providing energy and environmental benefits without direct costs to the partners.

The proposal partners request a $730,652 grant from the National Association of States Energy Officials (NASEO) under this proposal. The applicants and industry partners pledge $897,125 in matching capital. Additional leveraged funds are conservatively estimated at over $2.5 million. Those include industry capital investment in best practices or emerging technologies that demonstrate our objectives or that directly result from promotion of this work. This project also leverages other work already underway in the region. The Oregon Department of Energy is project lead.


Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE)
625 Marion Street, NE
Salem, OR 97301-3737
(503) 378-6043
Contact: Mark W. Kendall
Email: mark.w.kendall@state.or.us


Washington State University Energy Program (WSU)
Idaho Department of Water Resources Energy Division (Idaho)
California Energy Commission (CEC)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (LBNL)
Del Monte Foods
Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA)
California League of Food Processors (CLFP)
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (Alliance)


Total project cost: $1,627,777
STAC-DOE portion: $730,652
Participant portion: $897,125

Project Profile

Quarterly Reports

Below are the quarterly reports as provided by the project to STAC, excluding some non-substantive and financial information. All available reports are listed below.

Final Report

© 2009 State Technologies Advancement Collaborative
Send comments, Questions or Suggestions to: dterry@naseo.org

Last Updated: 07/21/11