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. [email protected]

 

Cummins Supported Wind Farm Begins Producing Low Carbon Energy

Cummins has as part of its energy goal a commitment to promote low-carbon forms of energy. The tallest turbines at Meadow Lake are more than 50-stories high.
Cummins has as part of its energy goal a commitment to promote low-carbon forms of energy. The tallest turbines at Meadow Lake are more than 50-stories high.

Meadow Lake VI, the wind farm expansion in northwest Indiana that Cummins is supporting through an innovative financial agreement, began sending power to the grid this week.

The power, which officially started flowing Wednesday (Dec. 19), won’t go to Cummins. But the company’s share of the energy generated by the expansion’s 61 wind turbines is more than Cummins uses at all of its Indiana facilities. Essentially, the expansion is replacing the power the company uses in its home state with low-carbon, renewable energy.

“We’ve been working toward this day for a long time,” said Mark Dhennin, Cummins’ Director of Energy and the Environment. “I’m proud we were able to help make this expansion happen. It’s good for our company, good for our partners at Meadow Lake and good for the world.”

The expansion comes just after the United Nation’s climate conference concluded in Katowice, Poland. Participants discussed ways the world can increase low-carbon energy sources like wind and solar to replace power produced by fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.

“We believe wind farms like Meadow Lake are part of the solution,” said Blair Matocha, spokesperson for EDP Renewables of North America, Meadow Lake’s owner. “It’s great to see companies like Cummins helping us take a great idea like capturing energy from the wind and turning it into a reality.” 

THE AGREEMENT

Cummins has entered into a 15-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement more commonly known in the industry as a VPPA. It guarantees the wind farm a fixed price for the power Meadow Lake VI generates, providing some certainty to the expansion that helped it move forward.

The VPPA provides Cummins with a hedge of sorts against rising energy prices. The company pays or receives the difference between the contract price and the market price of the energy the expansion produces. Cummins also receives something called renewable energy certificates, or RECs, to demonstrate its greenhouse gas reduction efforts. One of the company’s energy related goals is to promote the development of low carbon energy.

VPPAs provide the opportunity for companies to drive development of new, large-scale renewable power where it is the windiest or sunniest. While Cummins is also installing solar systems at many of its facilities, it is impossible to generate the magnitude of power onsite that’s possible at the Meadow Lake expansion, which is located along a windy stretch of northwest Indiana between Lafayette and Chicago.

KEY FEATURES

Meadow Lake VI will produce about 200 megawatts (MW) of energy annually, enough to power 52,000 homes in Indiana. The expansion represents a capital investment of about $340 million, according to U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Technologies Market Report.

Nestle and the Wabash Valley Power Association are supporting the project with Cummins. The expansion is compatible with farming, which will continue to take place around the wind turbines.

The expansion area is approximately 10,000 acres in Benton County and will use some of the tallest wind turbines in the world, stretching up about 173 meters or nearly 567 feet into the sky – taller than a 50-story building.

The addition of phase VI brings total production at Meadow Lake to just over 800 MW of power.
 

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. [email protected]

 

Cummins Employees Pledge Record Amount to United Way

Cummins employees work on a cleanup day sponsored by the United Way.
Cummins employees in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.), work on a cleanup day sponsored by the United Way.

Cummins employees in 2018 set a record for giving to the United Way in North America, pledging more than $3 million.

The pledged amount represents about a 7 percent increase over pledges in 2017 and will be matched dollar for dollar by the Cummins Foundation, creating twice the impact for local communities.

The more than $6 million from Cummins and its employees will go towards initiatives addressing everything from homelessness and hunger to school readiness and programs promoting safe, healthy relationships.

“I can’t think of a better example of how our Cummins employees demonstrate our values both inside and outside of work, and are fully committed to powering a more prosperous world, than this record-setting campaign,” Cummins President and Chief Operating Officer Rich Freeland said in a blog post on the company’s internal website Monday (Dec. 17).

The United Way is a more than 125-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families in North America achieve their potential through education, financial stability and healthy lifestyles.

Cummins has long partnered with the organization in the company’s efforts to build stronger communities and in keeping with its mission of “making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.”

The partnership is something Cummins leaders take seriously. Just last week, Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger joined Toyota Material Handling North America President and CEO Brett Wood in presenting $2,500 from each of their respective companies to four community organizations in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A), including the United Way.

Both companies have their headquarters in Columbus and share a common belief that they have an obligation to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business.

The Salvation Army, Lincoln-Central Family Neighborhood Center and the Columbus Firemen’s Cheer Fund received a total of $5,000 each in addition to the United Way’s 2-1-1 initiative, an effort to connect people in need with the appropriate service provider.

Linebarger said while Cummins is focused on innovation, building the best products and offering outstanding customer service, it is also dedicated to lending a helping hand in the communities where it does business.

“There is nothing more important that we do than help the people in our community,” Linebarger said.

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. [email protected]

 

Cummins Officer Calls on State to be More Inclusive

Chief Administrative Officer Marya Rose participates in a panel discussion on ways business can be a force for good (photos courtesy of the Indianapolis Business Journal).
Chief Administrative Officer Marya Rose participates in a panel discussion on ways business can be a force for good (photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Business Journal).

Cummins Chief Administrative Officer Marya Rose called for comprehensive hate crimes legislation in the company’s home state of Indiana during a forum on how business can be a force for good.

 

Indiana is one of five states that does not have a statewide law that specifically addresses hate crimes. Such legislation can enable prosecutors to seek higher penalties for criminal acts motivated by hate.

“We can talk about inclusion, but there’s still just some basic things we need to do as a state to make Indiana welcoming, and passing a comprehensive hate crimes bill is table stakes for our state,” Rose said while participating today (Dec. 14) in a panel discussion at Engage Indiana in Indianapolis. 

“So many people in this community have already gotten together, with not for profits and the United Way and we intend to make this happen,” Rose added. “This is going to happen this year. This is our time and we need to make it happen right now.”

The Indiana Legislature has considered hate crimes legislation for years but proponents have never managed to get the necessary support to pass a bill.

Rose maintains hate crimes legislation is needed to make Indiana a truly welcoming and inclusive place. Even the appearance that Indiana tolerates crimes of hate can send an unwelcoming message to people from diverse groups.

That can make it harder for companies to recruit the diverse talent they need to develop the most creative answers to their customers’ business challenges. Rose’s comments got an enthusiastic reaction from the audience of business leaders in attendance at the event sponsored by the Indianapolis Business Journal and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Cummins has a long history of taking a leadership role on issues involving diversity. Company leaders, for example, have spoken out against legislation banning gay marriage around the U.S.

Creating an inclusive environment can be challenging, Rose said. And it’s something Cummins is focusing on as it moves forward in its diversity journey.

“You can have a diverse employee population, and by that I mean all facets of diversity not just visible facets but invisible facets, and yet we can struggle with inclusion,” Rose said. “If someone doesn’t feel like they can bring their whole self to work, in a sexual orientation way, in a religious way, however it is, then we aren’t getting the best out of that employee.”

Passing hate crimes legislation is a step Indiana can take so diverse people can bring their whole selves to the state. Rose maintains that, in turn, will make Indiana more attractive for everyone. 
 

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. [email protected]

 

Cummins Places High in Management, Sustainability Rankings

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger attends a meeting of the Women's Affinity Group in 2017.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger attends a meeting of the Women's Affinity Group in 2017.

Cummins has been named to two lists released this month reflecting the company’s strong management and sustainability initiatives.

 

The company finished No. 82 in the 2018 Wall Street Journal’s "Management Top 250"  released last week (Dec. 3), and No. 80 in the 2019 JUST 100, a list of America's most just companies released today (Dec. 10).

THE MANAGEMENT TOP 250

The Wall Street Journal’s rankings were prepared by the Drucker Institute, named for the late professor, author and longtime Wall Street Journal Columnist Peter Drucker. “To be a manager requires more than a title, big office and other outward symbols of rank,” he once wrote. “It requires competence and performance of high order.”

Cummins’ ranking is up from No. 94 in the 2017 Management Top 250 and includes five out of five possible stars for the company’s social responsibility performance. That’s up from four stars in 2017.

The social performance ranking is based on multiple indicators of community involvement, environmental stewardship, governance performance and whether “a company has put a social purpose at the core of its business strategy.” Cummins corporate mission is: “Making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.”

The company received four-star rankings for customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development and financial strength. Cummins was the third highest ranked company in its sector – automotive/vehicles, preceded only by General Motors (No. 37) and Ford (No. 42). 

Three technology companies topped the list – Apple (No. 1), Amazon (No. 2) and Microsoft (No. 3).

AMERICA’S JUST 100

Cummins has made the JUST 100 every year since it was initiated in 2016. The list is produced by a partnership between Forbes magazine and JUST Capital, which measures company performance against the American public’s definition of just corporate behavior based on public polling.

Last year, Cummins finished No. 45 in the JUST 100,  and No. 3 in the commercial vehicles and machinery category behind Rockwell Automation (No. 13) and Caterpillar (No. 38).

Cummins finished No. 80 in this year's survey and No. 3 again in the commercial vehicles and machinery category behind Caterpillar (No. 49) and Rockwell (No. 73). Tech companies also finished a top the JUST 100 led by Microsoft (No. 1), Intel (No. 2) and Alphabet (Google) (No. 3).

The JUST Capital poll of 81,000 Americans found several interesting findings, including:

  • 76 percent of working Americans said they would opt to work at a more just company even if the pay was less.
  • 78 percent of those polled said they had taken action to show their support for a corporation’s positive behavior.
  • 63 percent said they think CEOs have a responsibility to take a stand on important social issues.

Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger has been a proponent of environmental sustainability, maintaining protecting the environment while growing the economy is the challenge of our time.
 

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. [email protected]

 

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