MN Energy Smart

Success Story — Bailey Nurseries

NEWPORT — Fall is the time of year when Bailey Nurseries puts much of their inventory of plants to sleep for the winter, but the Green Team never rests. In addition to making recommendations to improve the company’s waste reduction and water conservation practices, the Bailey Nurseries Green Team has been taking a closer look at energy use over the last year.

The company recently upgraded the lighting in its Behlen cold storage warehouses, an area equaling the square footage of 11 football fields. Thanks to the facility’s lighting upgrades, Bailey Nurseries will save about $8000 a year in energy costs.

“It’s important for our people who work in here,” says Peggy Montgomery, Horticulturist and Media Relations at Bailey Nurseries. “Actually, this is nicer light and it takes a lot of light to burn through the humidity in here.” The cold storage area must be kept at 38 degrees and 98% humidity to keep the plants alive over the winter.

The new lighting is expected to have a 3 year payback. This estimate does not include the savings resulting from the new bulbs’ lower heat production. The old bulbs added over 1000 degrees in heat while the new bulbs add just 100 degrees in heat. Because the new bulbs require less cooling to take place, and cooling removes moisture in the air, less energy is wasted re-humidifying the cold storage area as a result of the bulbs’ heat.

“We don’t want to be cooling or heating anything more than what we have to,” says Montgomery.

Bailey Nurseries’ propagation farm in Hastings, Minn. also uses an Energy Q-Com System to monitor conditions closely, automatically opening and closing greenhouse windows and vents 24 hours a day as needed.

Contact Energy Smart today to tap into utility rebates for your energy projects. Contact us at info@mnenergysmart.com or (651) 292-3902.