BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Industrial sites in Idaho are due to benefit from a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help them boost efficiency.

The Idaho Office of Energy Resources said in an e-mail it will oversee the projects at the J.R. Simplot Co. and the Amalgamated Sugar Co.

About $140,000 will go to make improvements at J.R. Simplot facilities in Pocatello, Aberdeen, Nampa and Caldwell, to help reduce energy consumption equivalent to the amount needed to heat and light about 56,000 homes.

J.R. Simplot is also in the running to get $105,000 to investigate a demonstration project at a plant in southwestern Idaho, to utilize heat that normally goes to waste to produce refrigeration, hot water and power.

Paul Kjellander, the head of the state energy office, says another company is also being considered for that project, but its name hasn't been made public.

And the Amalgamated Sugar Co. will use its roughly $105,000 share to conduct a feasibility study for a 100-megawatt combined heat and power project at its Nampa sugar refinery.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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