FEL Hosts ISO-NE Board Tour of Fairchild Semiconductor

Four members of ISO-New England’s Board of Directors recently visited Fairchild Semiconductor, a leading supplier of power management and mobile semiconductors worldwide, and an electricity self-supplier since 2005. The event was hosted by August Fromuth, Founder and Managing Director of Freedom Energy Logistics (FEL Power), Fairchild’s energy manager.

Fairchild’s John Gervais, Director of Site Services and Michael Vail, Manager of Site Services/Utilities Manager, made a presentation to the group about the company’s increasing global competition and its energy cost profile. They stated that Fairchild’s Maine manufacturing operations are energy intensive, using 8-12 MW of electricity per hour with an annual electricity bill exceeding $6 million. Finding ways to effectively reduce electricity costs was imperative and any savings achieved enable the company to invest in other energy saving improvements.

Fromuth, past chair of the End Users Group at ISO New England said, “When we first met with Fairchild managers in early 2005, they were doing an admirable job of controlling their energy consumption. They were constantly reassessing their processes, cutting waste, powering down when sections of the line were not needed, providing efficiencies of scale where possible. What we brought to them was the know-how to become their own wholesale energy provider.”

Fairchild plugged directly into the grid December 1, 2005 and has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars over Standard Offer every year since.

“Since we became our own wholesale supplier in 2005, we’ve expanded the plant a number of times. Our output has increased, and electricity fees unassociated with generation and supply have risen at rates much higher than inflation. Through all that, we’ve been able to maintain a steady, predictable annual electricity cost ,” said Fairchild’s Vail.

After the presentation, the group donned clean room garments and toured Fairchild’s wafer fabrication areas. Visitors saw firsthand both the extensive electricity needs of the facility and the intensive efforts of Fairchild to value engineer every aspect of its manufacturing process. Fairchild’s air handlers –designed to control airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, (a typical hair is 80 microns)–are a huge energy draw, as are the chillers that maintain constant temperature and humidity levels.

ISO-NE Board members present were Roberta S. Brown, president of Sassafras River Associates, LLC of Galena, MD; Paul F. Levy, past President & CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA; Louise McCarren, former CEO of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council; and Vickie Van Zandt of Van Zandt Electric Transmission Consulting, Inc, of Battle Ground, WA. They were joined by Marianne Vetter, Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer at FEL Power.

The Freedom Energy Logistics family of companies obtains power at the lowest possible price for New England consumers. FEL Power (felpower.com) provides high-end energy management services in electricity and natural gas. Its unique Direct to Grid (or Self-Supply) model guides large-scale users into New England’s wholesale electricity market, guaranteeing them access to electricity at the lowest available cost. Halifax American Energy Company (haecpower.com) is a retail electric energy marketer which, in partnership with South Jersey Energy, specializes in transactions converting wholesale and bulk power products into shapes and durations suitable for industrial, commercial, institutional and governmental end users. Its newest division, Resident Power (residentpower.com), is New Hampshire?s first competitive electricity aggregator to focus exclusively on residences and small businesses.