Corning Plant Working With Energy Manager through NYSERDA Program

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Global Energy Management

Global Energy Management

Global Energy Management

Corning Plant Working With Energy Manager through NYSERDA Program

Corning Plant Working With NYSERDA Program

Program will help Corning evaluate benefits of full-time energy managers

Traditionally, the role of Site Energy Manager at each Corning facility has been filled by a full-time Corning employee as a secondary position.

In response to increasing energy conservation awareness and opportunities, the Environmental Technologies’ Global Energy Management (GEM) team has been piloting a program to weigh the benefits of having a full-time energy manager at CET’s Diesel Manufacturing plant in Painted Post, New York.

Earlier this year, the Diesel team was accepted by a program through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which cost-shares a full-time energy manager at the Diesel plant for 15 months.

“The opportunity to apply for funds to have a full-time site energy manager really came from networking during Diesel’s Challenge for Industry Showcase event,” explained Chris Witte, CET Division Energy Manager, referencing the plant’s celebration after receiving an ENERGY STAR® award in 2016.

“It’s our hope to evaluate the position at the end of the program,” said Chris. “We’ll decide if it would be beneficial for Corning to hire a full-time plant energy manager.”

Corning applied to the NYSERDA Program with Taitem Engineering, based in Ithaca, New York.Rob Rosen, Senior Energy Analyst with Taitem, started at the Diesel plant last July. Rob answered some questions about the program, and shared what he’s been doing at the plant:

Can you explain how the NYSERDA program works and how your company, Taitem Engineering, fits in?

This pilot program is fairly new. It serves to help companies meet their full energy-saving potential, to encourage new opportunities for energy savings within industries, and to build stronger partnerships between government programs and these industries. It’s meant to show how dedicating resources can make a huge difference. My company, Taitem, which stands for “Technology as if the Earth mattered,” applied for the program with Corning. The Diesel plant qualified for the program because it has an excellent energy efficiency record. NYSERDA’s cost-share covers 75 percent of my salary at Corning for 15 months, 12 of which I’m spending on site at the Diesel plant. The last few months I’ll spend reporting and analyzing what I worked on and observed at the plant.

What is your position at Taitem and how does it differ from your role with Corning? 

I’ve been with Taitem for 18 years. I have a degree in computer science, and my first role at Taitem was as a software developer, then I moved on to a role as a data analyst, specifically data related to energy use. My primary function there is performing energy modeling and energy audits for buildings. I’ve visited hundreds of interesting buildings, including apartment houses, nursing homes, factories, churches, office buildings, stores, and museums. Typically, I’d spend just one or two days at a location, auditing its energy use and identifying savings opportunities, then a few weeks analyzing the data and writing a report. Most recently I was auditing dairy farms, greenhouses, and maple sugaring operations, which all require intensive energy use. I’d look at things like heating, ventilation, equipment, and compressed air usage. So this is a first for me in that I’m spending an entire year at one location looking at their energy opportunities.

How has your transition into Corning been? Have you faced any challenges with the untraditional nature of your position?

People here have been so welcoming and excited about being part of this program. It was a little difficult coming in to Corning as an outsider from a very small company into this very large global company. Everyone here has been very helpful in getting me acquainted with Corning’s culture and processes. Being in this complex environment at the plant, and experiencing how all the departments and groups work together is different for me, too. It’s been fascinating learning how it all works together.  

What have you been working on and what are your goals moving forward?

I went through a period of just learning about the plant, its processes, and how it’s using energy. One of our first priorities was to revitalize the site energy team with some new members from every area of the plant, and to organize the plant’s efforts around energy savings. We set out to explore some new savings opportunities, and to prioritize the list of projects. We’ve completed a few projects, including performing an energy audit and creating an energy plan and a master list of GEM projects. We’ve developed plans for adding topics on energy efficiency to the plant’s training opportunities, and plan to communicate about energy efficiency in the plant. There are a number of efficiency improvements that the process engineers are implementing which will save energy. Our priorities moving forward have been identified as projects that save energy and projects that improve process productivity. Another priority is encouraging people to bring in ideas, and to spread awareness of energy savings opportunities.

Why is saving energy such a priority?

It’s a priority to use all resources efficiently, including time, money, water, energy, materials, and more. My area of expertise is with energy. Saving energy, by using it efficiently, has benefits that are stated very well by in Corning’s Global Energy Management’s goals. Energy savings will reduce cost, optimize returns for energy-efficiency investments, minimize environmental impacts, conserve natural resources, potentially lower greenhouse gas emissions, maintain a long-term view of energy, and contribute to the preservation of the world’s communities for future generations.