Searles Valley Minerals gets USD 624,000 rebate from PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Searles Valley Minerals Operations Inc. (SVM), a worldwide supplier of soda ash and other boron minerals, recently celebrated significant energy efficiency …

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Searles Valley Minerals Operations Inc. (SVM), a worldwide supplier of soda ash and other boron minerals, recently celebrated significant energy efficiency upgrades the minerals company has implemented at its Trona location to reduce energy consumption. PG&E officials presented a cheque and attended a luncheon commemorating the savings. As part of its energy reduction efforts, SVM installed a new process that replaced a thermal bleacher at the Argus Plant. These improvements will dramatically reduce SVM“s operating costs and also earn the minerals company a USD 624,270.57 incentive award from PG&E. The incentive is part of the utility“s energy efficiency programs, which have helped to save its customers nearly USD 22 billion over the past three decades. “Energy efficiency and natural gas reduction provides our customers with an effective way to minimize their energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, says Jim Hendricks, PG&E“s Energy Solutions & Services Account Executive, who has worked with SVM for the last two years and on this project. “By partnering with customers like Searles Valley Minerals, we“re able to identify energy savings opportunities which help keep their operations costs down and achieve environmental benefits as well”. Working closely with SVM, PG&E helped the company identify ways they could benefit financially from energy efficiency investments. This project, and previous projects completed with PG&E, has helped SVM exceed their greenhouse gas reduction requirements ahead of schedule. “The project improves the competitiveness of our operations by reducing our natural gas fuel dependency,” says Roland Buchs, Director of Utilities and Engineering. “The project also helps reduces CO2 emissions and improves our energy flexibility in Searles Valley”. Burnell H. Blanchard, Vice President – Operations, said, “The PG&E incentive award was a significant contribution toward the cost of this innovative energy reduction project that would also serve as a down payment toward future efforts to improve energy efficiency”. Power and production facilities cover more than 339 acres at the Argus, Trona and Westend plants in California. The Searles Valley Plants tap into one of the richest sources of diversified minerals on Earth. The resource contains 59 of the world“s 85 naturally occurring elements. The Searles Valley location currently produces 2 million tonnes a year of soda ash, borax, boric acid and natural sodium sulfate.