Cummins Turns Landfill Gas Into Power for Delaware Customers

Dignitaries including Delaware Gov. Jack A. Markell attended a ground breaking ceremony this summer for an innovative energy solution at Croda Inc. in Delaware featuring Cummins’ combined heat and power systems running on landfill gas.

Construction started earlier this summer on a first of its kind project for Cummins that will use landfill gas and the Company’s combined heat and power (CHP) systems to provide industrial customers in Delaware with a clean, sustainable source of energy.

The first recipient will be Croda Inc.’s Atlas Point chemical manufacturing plant in New Castle, Del. Croda, a global company with operations in 33 countries, estimates the project will provide enough energy to cover about 55 percent of its operations at Atlas Point.

Over the next two years, the City of Wilmington’s Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Port of Wilmington will join the system, also using Cummins’ combined heat and power systems running on landfill gas.

“Croda has a global goal to obtain 25 percent of its energy needs from non-fossil sources by 2015 and we are excited that this venture will help us achieve that goal,” said Croda Inc. President Kevin Gallagher, who estimates Croda’s investment will pay for itself in five or six years.

The project has gotten the attention of Delaware Gov. Jack A. Markell. He applauded Croda at a groundbreaking ceremony for the $6 million project on June 7 (2012).

“This project saves energy costs for a company that has chosen to locate here while putting more people to work,” Markell said. “We applaud Croda’s investment in Delaware, both environmentally and economically.”

Don Gesick, Cummins’ General Manager – Energy Solutions, said Cummins is excited to take a leadership role in providing Croda and its other customers with a “comprehensive, efficient and green solution.”

“Instead of the landfill gas being flared into the atmosphere, this system brings the gas directly to Croda and our other partners, reducing emissions,” he added. “The CHP system then allows for maximum productive use of the renewable energy.”

Construction on the Croda project started in June and is expected to wrap up sometime in the fall of 2012. Croda estimates the initiative will replace 2.2 megawatts of utility-supplied electricity, reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 33,000 passenger cars from the road.

The wastewater treatment plant project, part of an overall city Sustainable Energy Initiative costing $50.5 million, will be even bigger. The city expects to produce 4.4 megawatts of energy – essentially enough power to take the plant off the grid if officials wanted.

The Port of Wilmington is looking for a system to generate about 2 megawatts of power to help meet its overall power needs.

While it’s fairly common for landfills to use the gas they generate to power aspects of their operations or create energy that they then sell to a utility, rarely is the gas pumped off site to meet the energy needs of multiple companies and agencies. The use of CHP systems to get the most of the energy produced makes this initiative even more unusual.

Here’s how the project works: Cummins Power Generation obtained the right to use the landfill gas from the Delaware Solid Waste

Authority, which runs the 500-acre Cherry Island Landfill. The gas is currently being released by means of a flare to keep it from building up in the landfill.

More than 50 percent of landfill materials are organics and suitable for anaerobic digestion that yields biogas, typically about 50 percent methane. Gas-powered generator sets and on-site power plants can be designed to run on gas with low or variable energy content.

When the Delaware project is up and running, the gas will be collected and conditioned at the landfill, then piped to Croda and the other customers. The Croda plant is about four miles from the landfill.

Once it reaches its destination, the gas will fuel a Cummins CHP system that will produce electricity while also capturing the heat from generators that otherwise would be lost. Up to 85 percent of the available energy output with a combined heat and power system can be used productively.

The heat captured at Croda will be used in the facility’s boiler system. At the treatment plant, officials plan to use the heat to dry sludge, significantly reducing the volume that then has to be taken to an out-of-state landfill for disposal. The port plans to convert the heat captured by the combined heat and power system to run chillers to cool warehouses used for items like fruits and vegetables.

The solid waste authority says the landfill will generate enough gas for the system for at least 20 years and perhaps twice that long.
Gesick says every landfill situation is a little bit different so he’s not sure if the Cherry Island project will be a model for other customers looking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. Unlike many landfills, for example, Cherry Island is relatively close to potential customers. Often landfills are located in remote areas.

The Delaware project, however, is an example of the kind of innovative arrangement Cummins Power Generation can develop to meet customers’ needs.

In addition to industry leading generators and CHP systems, Cummins Power Generation offers financing, operations and maintenance programs. It even builds turnkey power systems, handling everything from design to installation and commissioning.

The Cherry Island project received high praise from Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara.

“Croda should be commended for deploying one of the cleanest and most efficient energy projects in the nation,” he said at the groundbreaking.

“This project demonstrates innovation and environmental commitment by taking a readily available waste product that previously served no productive purpose – in this case landfill gas – and putting it to work making cleaner and more efficient energy while reducing emissions and fossil fuel dependence.”

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. blair.claflin@cummins.com

Cummins gets high marks in rankings on the environment, just practices and management

An employee at Cummins’ Rocky Mount Engine Plant in Rocky Mount, N.C., carefully monitors energy use. One key aspect of Newsweek’s Green Ranking is energy management.
An employee at Cummins’ Rocky Mount Engine Plant in Rocky Mount, N.C., carefully monitors energy use. One key aspect of Newsweek’s Green Ranking is energy management.

Cummins received high marks in a trio of rankings released in December.

The company finished 25th in Newsweek’s 2017 Green Ranking of U.S. companies, 45th on the Forbes-JUST Capital list of the Just 100: America's Best Corporate Citizens, and 94th in the Wall Street Journal’s Management Top 250, all released separately.


The Newsweek ranking, released Dec. 7, assessed the environmental performance of the world’s largest publicly traded companies. Cummins was named “Best in Industry” in the “Machinery” category for U.S. companies.

The 2017 Green Ranking is built around six principles: Transparency, Objectivity, Public Availability of Data, Compatibility, Engagement and Stakeholder Input. The U.S. rankings assess the sustainability performance of the 500 largest publicly-traded companies headquartered in the U.S. by revenue as of Dec. 31, 2016.

“At Cummins, our mission calls for powering a more prosperous world,” said Brian Mormino, Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance. “That requires a vibrant, healthy planet. Innovation for us means that we are environmentally responsible while dependably meeting the needs of our customers.”

The rankings looked at energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste production and recycling, and other factors. Newsweek, a news magazine, produces the Green Ranking in partnership with Corporate Knights, a multi-faceted business known for its environmental and sustainability rankings, its research and its magazine, which it describes as the “magazine for clean capitalism.”

The top U.S. company in the ranking was Cisco Systems Inc. followed by Ecolab Inc. and Hasbro Inc.

The Just 100 list released Dec. 12, ranks the largest publicly-traded U.S. corporations in a number of areas deemed through polling as the most important to Americans.

Key issues in 2017 included employee wellbeing, customer treatment, environmental impact, job generation, transparency and more. This is the second year Forbes and JUST Capital have partnered to produce the list.

The top companies in the Just 100 are Intel, Texas Instruments and NVIDIA.

The Wall Street Journal’s inaugural Management Top 250, released Dec. 6, is a comprehensive guide examining how U.S. companies navigate complex business environments, "serving their workers, customers and shareholders."

It is based on rankings by the Drucker Institute, which looks at corporate performance in five areas: Customer Satisfaction, Employee Engagement and Development, Innovation, Social Responsibility, and Financial Strength.

The Drucker Institute analyzed “37 data inputs, provided by 12 third-party sources, to produce its landmark ranking.” Peter Drucker is an author, professor and longtime Wall Street Journal columnist.

Cummins received four out of five stars in Employee Engagement and Development, and Social Responsibility. The top ranking company in the survey was Amazon.com Inc., followed by Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.

In still another rating released earlier this fall, Cummins received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the thirteenth straight year. The CEI, conducted in 2017, is a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Cummins joined the ranks of 609 major U.S. businesses which also earned top marks this year.

 

 

 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. blair.claflin@cummins.com

Cummins CEO supports NAFTA in interview with POLITICO

Caption: Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger says NAFTA means thousands of jobs for American workers at locations such as the company’s engine plant in Jamestown, New York.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger says NAFTA means thousands of jobs for American workers at locations such as the company’s engine plant in Jamestown, New York.

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said in an interview with POLITICO that the benefits to business of the tax cuts recently passed by the U.S. House and Senate could be offset by losses if President Trump pulls the country out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“I’m excited about the growth that could come from tax reform, and I think that withdrawing from NAFTA could have the exact opposite effect and essentially undo the benefits,” Linebarger, told POLITICO in an article appearing Wednesday (Dec. 6, 2017).

Linebarger, chairman of the Business Roundtable’s International Engagement Committee, strongly supports NAFTA, maintaining international trade means jobs for American workers.

Linebarger said the United States is a much less attractive place to invest if the country withdraws from NAFTA.

“Not only would terminating NAFTA worsen the position of the U.S., but it causes multinational companies like mine to figure what’s the best way to position yourself for a world without NAFTA, which might mean changing manufacturing locations,” Linebarger told POLITICO. “Mexico has 44 free trade agreements. The U.S. has free trade agreements with 20 countries. So the very best way to sell to everybody else is to be in Mexico.”

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. blair.claflin@cummins.com

New Microsoft-Cummins Lab Could Impact More Than Datacenters

Cummins’ Executive Director of Power Systems Engineering Gary Johansen (left) tours the Advanced Energy Lab with Sean James (center) of Microsoft and Dan Ronco (right) of McKinstry.

Officials from Microsoft, Cummins, and McKinstry celebrated the start of operations Wednesday, October 25, at their new advanced energy lab in Seattle, Washington, maintaining it could deliver important insights not just on powering datacenters, but on a host of other energy-intensive activities.

“In the future, the research work done here will help us and our customers in really diverse applications and market segments,” said Gary Johansen, Executive Director of Power Systems Engineering at Cummins.

“…Our aim is to create solutions that are cleaner, greener and lower cost,” Johansen said at the celebration. “We know this mission critical work well and believe that in the future it may also reach our customers who need to power hospitals, grocery stores and other important locations.”

A FOCUS ON FUEL CELLS

The lab’s initial focus will be on powering datacenters with natural gas powered fuel cells. The 20-rack environment in the lab simulates datacenter conditions to evaluate whether the fuel cells have the potential to improve efficiency, reduce emissions and cut costs.

The partners in the lab marked the beginning of operations by cutting a symbolic electric cord. Microsoft has long had the goal of unplugging from the grid, maintaining it would improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and improve the reliability of the grid by removing some of the stress on it.

Datacenters use a lot of energy, consuming about 2 percent of U.S. electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A significant portion of that energy is lost in the transmission of electricity from a power plant through the grid and to the datacenter. The lab partners believe that the integration of fuel cells directly into a datacenter could nearly double energy efficiency.

“The lab is our latest step towards our ongoing work to eventually eliminate the energy and resource impact of our datacenters; in other words, making our datacenters disappear,” said Suresh Kumar, Corporate Vice President, Cloud Infrastructure and Operations, Microsoft.

The project was conceived of and funded by Microsoft, Cummins and McKinstry, with additional funding provided by Siemens and the Washington State Department of Commerce via its Clean Energy Fund. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee was among the dignitaries at the celebration.

A RECORD OF INNOVATION

The three principal partners in the lab each bring a track record of innovation to the project.

Microsoft is a giant in its industry. The company’s cloud infrastructure includes more than 100 datacenters around the world. It hosts more than 200 cloud services including Bing, MSN, Office 365, Xbox Live and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

The company has made a commitment to use more clean energy to power its datacenters, maintaining 50 percent will come from wind, solar and hydropower sources by the end of 2018.

Cummins currently has over 7 gigawatts (GW) of primarily backup generator capacity in datacenters around the world, using a variety of technologies including diesel and combined heat and power/gas. That’s enough energy to power every household in New York City.

McKinstry is a full-service construction firm specializing in energy and facility services. It tested re-using waste heat from datacenters before designing the largest waste heat transfer system in America.

“We know the future means we won’t just provide one power system, but customized solutions tailored to customer needs,” said Cummins’ Johansen, who predicts the lab will have positive repercussions for clean energy generation in the power generation industry. “This lab is a place where we can test various combinations of energy storage and power systems, together.”

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. blair.claflin@cummins.com

Get to Know Brammo, the Company Recently Acquired by Cummins

Brammo's expertise in battery technology and electrification will help Cummins take an important step in being a global electrified power leader.

Cummins recently announced their acquisition of Brammo, Inc., which designs and develops battery packs for mobile and stationary applications. Adding Brammo’s battery pack expertise and resources is an important milestone in Cummins’ efforts to become a global electrified power leader.

Here are five interesting facts about Brammo and their products.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

Brammo was founded in a garage as a motorsports and performance vehicle company in 2002. The company’s original goal was to build a high performance car, which would comfortably accommodate a 6-foot-8-inch tall person weighing 300 pounds. The company has gone on to power a range of other products, including electric motorcycles, forklifts and even a helicopter.

PUSHING THE LIMITS OF SPEED AND INNOVATION

Similar to Cummins, Brammo has a rich motorsport history and has helped push the limits of electric vehicle technology on the race track.

Brammo participated and podiumed in the first ever all electric motorcycle race at the Isle of Man TT in 2009. Brammo was also the first racing team to win an electric vehicle race at Daytona International Speedway and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the bike reached speeds in excess of 170mph – a new electric motorcycle world record for a race circuit.

The Brammo Empulse at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2011.

 

 

NO STRANGER TO LATE-NIGHT TV

American late-night TV personality Jay Leno has featured multiple Brammo vehicles on his show, Jay Leno’s Garage, including his own Brammo Empulse. Watch the episode below.

OFF-ROAD OPTIONS APLENTY

The Brammo powered Polaris Ranger EV Li-Ion is the industry’s first off-road vehicle powered by Lithium-Ion technology. Brammo is also an industry leader in the utility vehicle, delivery vehicle, snow and turf, aviation and motorcycle markets.

The Polaris Ranger EV Li-Ion.

 

 

TAKING BRAMMO  POWER TO THE SKIES

Brammo powered one of the first full-size helicopter flights that solely used battery power. A series of 11 Brammo batteries were used to power the flight, which lasted around five minutes and only drained 20% of the battery energy. Check out the flight below.

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. blair.claflin@cummins.com

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