Cascade Energy gives Zirkle Fruit’s facility a system overhaul that reduces costs by nearly $185,000 annually.


PROJECT SUMMARY

Energy Saved

  • 3.4 million kWh per year
  • 34.2% savings after five years
  • Clear understanding of system status and performance

Non-energy Benefits

  • Slashed operating costs by $185,000 annually
  • Reduced ongoing maintenance and capital expenses
  • Improved operational efficiency through better systems control and automation

 

Challenge: Modernize an Aging Facility

Zirkle Fruit had long wanted to upgrade and modernize its aging facility in Prosser, Washington. The facility features a series of controlled atmosphere (CA) rooms that maintain precise conditions at all times—including finite oxygen and temperature control bands—to keep the company’s apples fresh year-round. The CA rooms also have to manage the carbon dioxide emitted from the harvested apples.

“Keeping our produce fresh throughout the year is a complex process with no margin for error,” says Jeff Gill, project manager at Zirkle Fruit. “But there is always room for improvement, and we like to take advantage of modern techniques and technologies. Investing in our future, staying ahead of the competition, and being as environmentally sustainable as possible are key elements of our culture.”

Gill said the company had previously worked with Cascade Energy to modernize and improve the energy performance of its facility in Selah, Washington. “The Selah upgrades were smaller, but they helped establish a rapport and level of trust with Cascade,” Gill recalls. “We wanted to see what they could do at our older facility in Prosser.”