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A Blytheville industry was recognized Monday for its recent effort to “go green.”
Lighting Source Memphis

Omnium in Blytheville was presented with the Orion Energy Systems Environmental Stewardship Award Monday by Brighter Days and Nites, in partnership with Shelby Electric.

Omnium recently changed the fixtures in its plant to ones that use less energy and are actually brighter. Orion presents these awards to companies that achieve significant environmental benefits through use of Orion products and systems.

Utilizing Brighter Days and Nites as contractors, Omnium replaced 166 465-watt high-pressure sodium and 44 230-watt conventional fluorescent fixtures, with 37 221-watt and 151 147-watt high-intensity fluorescent fixtures from Orion Energy Systems of Plymouth, Wisc. This has lowered the plant’s lighting power usage 65 percent from 400,000 kilowatt-hours annually to about 140,000, a savings of more than 260,000 per year or more than $15,000 a year.

“The plant manager decided to go green on his own,” Lynn Stampley, sales representative of Shelby Electric Company, said. “We took down the factory’s old lights and replaced them lights that used 16 percent less energy and gave them more light at the same time. The state of Arkansas is going to mandate businesses to go green over the long haul, but the Omnium plant decided to go green on its own. They save energy on both their heating and air conditioning as well they use less energy to light. It also creates a better work environment. People are known to work better under better lighting.”

Omnium plant manager Paul Vickerson said the decision to go green has been a great project for the plant.

“We have a situation where we are not only conserving energy and saving money, but our employees are happier,” Vickerson said. “There isn’t this yellow hue to everything. The color emission of the lights are much better and makes a big difference. It is amazing how we use less watts but have brighter lights.”

According to accepted government formulas, this reduction means that over the 20-year life of the replacement fixtures, some 2,309 tons of CO2, 630 tons of carbon, 10 tons of SO2 and 4.8 tons of NOx — all greenhouse gases — will not enter the atmosphere. Stated another way, the reduction is the air-scrubbing equivalent of planting a 22-acre forest or removing 19 cars from the road. It is also the conservation equivalent of saving 195,973 gallons of gasoline or 4,666 barrels of oil over the same period of time.

“We are pleased to receive this award,” Vickerson said. “Safety and environmental responsibility are cornerstones of our business, and we are constantly seeking ways to improve. This project is part of our ongoing efforts to reduce consumption and waste and recycle wherever possible.”

Representatives from Orion Energy Systems, Brighter Days and Nites as well as Shelby Electric were at Omnium Monday to present Vickerson with a plaque.

Copyright, Blytheville Courier News, Blytherville, Arkansas

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