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Canadian Organic Maple moves toward carbon neutral

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Located in Divide, New Brunswick, Canadian Organic Maple Co. Ltd. has around 138,000 taps and produces up to 200,000 litres of maple syrup annually. The company employs the equivalent of 25 full-time employees.

Maple trees with technology that makes the sap to syrup conversion process more efficient.

The owners of Canadian Organic Maple, Sandra and Gus Hargrove have ecological sustainability as a primary goal of their business. “We believe the responsible thing to do is emit less carbon. We’re committed to doing that personally and as a company,” said Gus Hargrove.

The Hargroves knew there could be improvements to the energy-intensive maple syrup production that their business depends on, so they approached NB Power for an initial feasibility study to determine and prioritize energy saving opportunities.

NB Power’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Program funds energy audits and feasibility studies by covering up to 50 percent of eligible costs for a maximum of $10,000 for small and medium sized businesses.

The $16,000 feasibility study, funded through the utility’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Program, revealed two key projects that would yield significant energy and greenhouse gas reductions.

Project 1: New Equipment

In the first project, innovative technology replaced a traditional system. The new technology uses reverse osmosis in the sap to syrup conversion process but maintains high brix evaporation to produce an excellent product. Normally, the Hargroves evaporated around 8 litres of sap for 1 litre of syrup; the upgrades reduced sap quantity required to 2.5 litres.

Project 2: Infrastructure upgrades

Power lines were extended to the facility, thus replacing approximately 100,000 litres of diesel fuel annually for generators and vacuum pumps.

The cost of both projects was $250,000 with incentives of $112,500 yielding a simple payback of 2.1 years and CO2eq of 270 metric tons annually. According to the Hargroves, the new equipment has not only reduced energy costs and GHG emissions but also cut maintenance time and costs, and improved productivity.

The Industrial Energy Efficiency Program funds both electric and non-electric saving projects under prescriptive and custom incentives. Prescriptive incentives include lighting, compressed air equipment and motor drive upgrades while custom incentives could range from process improvements and HVAC systems to refrigeration and compressed air projects.

Small business

NB Power also offers prescriptive and custom incentives for projects reducing electricity use. Small industries can apply for eligible products at set rebates up to a maximum of $40,000 while custom incentives are the lesser of $0.108 /kWh or 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $75,000. 

Medium business

These industries can apply for up to $60,000 for eligible products under the prescriptive incentives and the lesser of 108/kWh or 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $150,000. 

Additional information on incentives for small and medium businesses can be found at NB Power’s website - Industrial Energy Efficiency Program. More details on Canadian Organic Maple’s energy efficiency project are available at NB Power- Canadian Organic Maple.

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