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 Cutting ‘fixed’ overhead and going green

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justdhf
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PostSubject: Cutting ‘fixed’ overhead and going green   Fri May 18, 2012 5:48 pm

On-site wind power is part of the energy savings mix for one Arizona station

A drive to reduce costs and go green led the owners of a Flagstaff, Ariz. service station to find new ways to reduce utility energy consumption. Late in 2009 the station owners installed small-scale wind turbines and have since made energy efficiency upgrades, cutting utility energy use by a total of about 20 percent.

The Chevron station, one of nine stations owned and operated by Hallum Inc., sits on the heavily traveled U.S. 89, a major route to the Grand Canyon. Two Skystream 3.7 wind turbines, made by Southwest Windpower, sit atop 33- and 45-foot high poles at the site. In addition to generating clean energy, the spinning turbines next to the highway draw plenty of attention from customers and passing motorists.

Cutting overhead

Skystream 3.7 wind turbine at a Chevron stationThe wind turbines are part of Hallum’s long-term strategy to reduce costs. “Station owners look at electric bills as a fixed cost that you can’t do anything about. But you can. You just have to be proactive about it,” says vice president David Hallum. “Anything you can do to reduce long-term costs should be on the table. We took a look at our overhead and asked ‘what can we do with the resources available to us now?’”

Hallum Inc. engaged the local Southwest Windpower dealer to assess the company’s sites, and settled on the U.S. 89 location for its abundant wind and high visibility. The dealer provided trenching and concrete work, completed the electrical connections, assembled the turbines and raised the towers. The total installation process took just a couple of days, not including concrete cure time.

The owners also invested in new interior upgrades for better efficiency, with the help of Supermarket Energy Technologies, a firm specializing in efficiency retrofits. New refrigerator fan motor controllers and defrost sensors reduce running time by 80 to 90 percent. The station also saves with new lighting fixtures, LED cooler lights and restroom light motion sensors.

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