U.S.: Matson Fruit receives accolades for energy saving initiatives
Matson Fruit Company was one of three Yakima businesses to recently be awarded the 'wattsmart® Business Partner of the Year' from Pacific Power.
The Selah-based company was chosen for its "innovation and leadership" in energy efficiency, saving 956,810 kilowatt-hours annually after completing several projects since 2011, including the construction of an automated shipping facility that uses robots to pack and move fruit in its refrigerated storage warehouses.
The automated storage and retrieval system eliminates lighting and refrigeration load in the space, and it is expected the robotic technology will be replicated in other fruit storage warehouses in the region.
"Our project was new for our industry, new for our region, and was on an accelerated time table," said Matson Fruit general manager Jordan Matson.
"Pacific Power worked with us to keep it moving while being energy efficient."
Pacific Power estimated the value of these kilowatt-hours to be worth US$46,921 each year; enough to power around 62 typical homes in the Yakima area.
"We try to make responsible business decisions that impact our company and community in a positive way, so it’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts," Matson said.
"Each one of us has the ability to make an impact when it comes to energy usage.
"The technical support allowed us to weed out the good [options] from the bad, and the financial support allowed us to proceed with some of the options we would not have been able to otherwise."
Matson Fruit Company has received more than US$131,816 in incentives from the wattsmart Business program since 2011.
"Beyond the financial benefits, we take pride in the having the ability to affect positive change in our world," Matson said.