Custom rebate project keeps eggs cool and people warm at Indiana farm

A million eggs a day come out of Minnich Poultry farm in Portland, Indiana. That’s a lot of product to keep cool and a lot of employees to keep processes moving.

For many years, Minnich Poultry used strip curtains to separate its egg cooler from its processing plant. With about a 35-degree temperature difference between the two areas, keeping temperatures constant despite a flow of traffic was a challenge that strip curtains weren’t quite up to. So the Jay County REMC member farm saw a chance for lowering overhead with an upgrade.

“Air seemed to flow right through the strip curtains,” Minnich Poultry Finance and Production Manager Steve Reier said. “Especially if a door was open, it’d pull the air right through, and you could see the curtains moving.”

That’s an energy-efficiency challenge that POWER MOVES didn’t have a program in place for, and so Steve worked up a custom rebate that enabled the farm to replace its inefficient strip curtains with high-speed roll-up doors.

“Now we’re not seeing moisture issues in the egg cooler, and we don’t see cool air coming into the processing plant,” Steve said.

Progress! And getting there was simple: “It took a little bit of paperwork, then the vendor provided cost savings estimates, and those got reviewed by an engineer from POWER MOVES,” Steve said. Shortly thereafter, he had his rebate.

The Minnich farm has also used one of the POWER MOVES prescriptive rebates to get money back on a high-efficiency air compressor.

“And I’d like to do something with motion sensors,” Steve said. “But I haven’t had the time yet.”

So many rebates, so little time.