World Grain - July 2018 - 57
Lauke Flour Mills, said the business has experienced
a doubling of energy costs year on year since 2016-17.
"The business came off a really competitive energy
FRQWUDFWLQPLGEXWVLQFHKDGWR¿QGDQDGGLWLRQal $800,000 savings elsewhere in the business to cover
the cost of power over the year," Cobb said.
Cobb explained the business has installed LED lighting, power factor correction devices and automation
that shuts down power and lighting when machinery
is not required. He said this has had an impact but by
far the greatest savings have been found in re-thinking
operations to make use of off-peak power.
Lauke Flour Mills is even conducting a feasibility
study with energy provider AGL into switching the
Bridgewater site's water turbines back on. The site is
located by a river that would supply the water needed
to turn the turbine and generate power for the site.
"When the site was built in the 1800s, its infrastructure included water turbines that are still on the site and
functional today," Cobb said. "It would be nice to get the
turbines working again because of the historical connection with the site."
The business is also looking closely at solar arrays
in the next 12 to 18 months when Cobb expects the
economics of the investment will work. "Investing in
a solar array that could supply the amount of power
needed for it to be meaningful would be several million
dollars," Cobb said. "Over the last three years, the payEDFNRQWKLVOHYHORILQYHVWPHQWKDVIDOOHQIURP¿YHWR
three and a half years, and we think it will fall further."
In addition, he said the business had made use of
brokers to secure lower energy pricing by using them
to put the Lauke's power needs over a cycle onto a reverse auction that retailers place ever decreasing bids
on. "This has been useful, but we are currently using a
more traditional bill negotiation by contacting potential
retailers and outlining our energy needs over a cycle
to negotiate a price over the phone with our broker,"
responsive to power price movements, he said. Cobb describes the impact of managing network (demand) based
charges as equally as important as the energy charges, and
after talking to other energy-intensive businesses he's sur-
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www.World-Grain.com / World Grain / July 2018