Cummins Partners with Wind Farm to Expand Low-Carbon Energy

Cummins and EPD Officials

CUMMINS HAS ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT THAT WILL HELP A NORTHWEST INDIANA (U.S.A) WIND FARM EXPAND, PRODUCING LOW-CARBON POWER FOR THE GRID EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT OF ELECTRICITY THE COMPANY USES AT ALL OF ITS INDIANA FACILITIES.

Under its 15-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with EDP Renewables North America, Cummins provides certainty that enables the project to move forward as it guarantees a fixed price for the electricity produced by the expansion. Cummins benefits as the VPPA provides a hedge against rising energy prices and the company will receive the renewable energy certificates to ensure greenhouse gas reductions.

“At Cummins, our strategy is to provide clean, fuel efficient and dependable power for our customers with the least environmental impact possible,” said Brian Mormino, Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance at Cummins. “Greenhouse gases are our largest impact, and we are currently working on our third facility greenhouse gas reduction goal since 2006.

“As we explored ways to even further reduce these emissions, we learned we could add to the renewable energy market in our headquarters state,” he said. “That led us to this partnership with EDP Renewables to add low-carbon energy capacity in Indiana that will benefit the environment and the community for a long time to come.”

EYE ON EFFICIENCY

Low-carbon electrons sold to the grid can’t be separated and delivered to an individual customer. VPPAs provide a mechanism for companies like Cummins to encourage the efficient production of low-carbon energy over an extended period of time. The agreements are increasingly popular among companies that want to add low-carbon sources of power to their energy mix but have facilities in locations that don’t lend themselves to wind or solar power production.

The Cummins’ portion of the Meadow Lake Wind Farm expansion, for example, will produce the same amount of energy generated by about a square mile of solar panels.

As part of its revised energy and greenhouse gas goals in 2016, Cummins pledged to increase the amount of energy it uses from renewable sources. The company already has solar arrays at 11 facilities with plans for more. The VPPA with Meadow Lake, however, offers the potential for a significantly bigger impact. The expansion will add 75 megawatts, enough to power approximately 20,000 average Indiana homes, to the existing 600 megawatt capacity at Meadow Lake.

 

Northwest Indiana is the windiest part of the state and well suited for wind farms. Indiana currently has more than 1,000 wind turbines, many of them clustered in northwest corner of the state and visible from the I-65 interstate highway between Indianapolis and Chicago.

“With all of our environmental sustainability goals, we want to maximize our impact,” said Mark Dhennin, Director, Energy and Environment at Cummins. “Though it’s impractical to transfer the power directly to our facilities, it was very important to us to choose a project that added real renewable energy capacity in the marketplace while providing tangible environmental and community benefits. Our analysis showed that supporting wind power through a VPPA was the most cost effective way to achieve the greatest greenhouse gas reduction in Indiana.”

CAPABLE PARTNERS

EDP Renewables North America and its subsidiaries develop, construct, own and operate wind farms and solar parks throughout North America, with 41 wind farms and two solar parks. The company is excited about expanding its Meadow Lake facility, slated for completion in 2019.

“EDPR NA has the largest wind energy capacity footprint in the state of Indiana and is pleased to partner with Indiana-based Cummins to help in meeting its energy and environmental goals,” said Ryan Brown, EDPR NA Executive Vice President – Eastern Region and Canada. “Cummins’ investment in low-cost, renewable energy shows its commitment to keeping our world a cleaner, healthier place to live.”

Northwest Indiana government officials are also excited about the expansion.

“Benton County is very excited about Cummins and EDP joining forces in our wind arena,” said Bryan Berry, President of the Benton County Commissioners. “The winds of Benton County are producing jobs and adding accessed value that lowers taxes for the residents of Benton County while expanding essential services like paramedics to better serve our community.”

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Cummins Makes Progress on Reaching 2020 Environmental Goals

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]

 

Linebarger Calls for Pragmatic Approach to China Trade Standoff

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger (center) participates in a panel on trade with China sponsored by the Business Roundtable.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger (center) participates in a panel on trade with China sponsored by the Business Roundtable.

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said this week he hopes U.S. negotiators will take a pragmatic approach that focuses on market access during the 90-day suspension of the trade war between the U.S. and China.

“We should be thinking about pragmatic market access,” Linebarger said at a summit Thursday on innovation sponsored by the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from America’s largest companies who believe business leaders have a responsibility to help build an economic future in the U.S. 

“…What are our goals in the near term, this 90-day term? What can we do to increase practical market access for American businesses in China and what can we get them to practically stop doing that’s just unfair practices like stealing IP (intellectual property) etc.?”

Linebarger said starting with a single issue like market access can build momentum toward solving other issues that currently have the two economic superpowers at odds.

 “I think as soon as we are into negotiation and engagement, the chances for win-win solutions go up,” said the Cummins CEO, who has been an outspoken advocate for free trade and a critic of retaliatory tactics such as tariffs.

TRADE IS A JOB PRODUCER

Linebarger maintains Cummins is an example of how trade can be a job producer not a job killer. Trade has been the single largest contributor to Cummins’ growth over the past 15 years. As the company has grown globally, it has invested and added jobs in communities with Cummins plants such as Columbus, Indiana; Jamestown, New York; Rocky Mount, North Carolina and other American communities. 

Linebarger was part of a panel on “Competition and Collaboration with China for Leadership in Innovation” at the event in Washington, D.C. Other members included U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia; Gary Locke, former U.S. Ambassador to China under President Obama and the current governor of the state of Washington, and Dean Garfield, president and CEO of ITI, a technology company.

The summit invited business leaders and government officials of both parties, including Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, who participated in a panel on the “Future of Work in an Era of Automation and Artificial Intelligence.”

Linebarger agreed with his panel that issues like the forced sharing of intellectual property, patent infringement, counterfeiting and the stealing of proprietary technology are huge problems for U.S. companies that create an unlevel playing field for doing business in China.

Panelists said these practices may have been understandable when China was an emerging economy but not now that it is the second largest economy in the world.

CHINA'S IMPORTANT ROLE

Linebarger, however, also said Cummins would not be the company it is today were it not for the role China has played in innovation at Cummins and the company’s overall growth. The size of the market alone makes it critical to Cummins. Of the 1.3 million engines the company produces annually, about 500,000 are sold in China.

Other panelists suggested the U.S. should consider adopting some of the trade practices China employs for Chinese companies that want to do business in the United States. 

But Linebarger said it’s important for the U.S. to maintain its free market principles, which he argued are critical to innovation and can’t be duplicated by a planned economy dictated by the state.

“Just because everything is so centrally planned and subsidized doesn’t necessarily mean a win for China,” Linebarger said, looking at the electric vehicle market. He maintains companies can start to chase subsidies under such a system rather than work toward a vehicle that meets the demands of customers.

“They aren’t at the edge of competition,” he said. “They don’t feel the knife every day. …We may not win but if we do we are going to be lean and mean and tough.”
 

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]

 

Design Competition Gives College Students a Chance to Tackle One of the World’s Great Challenges

Cummins is co-sponsoring a design competition with the ESTECO Academy.
Cummins is co-sponsoring a design competition with the ESTECO Academy.

Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger calls it the challenge of our age. How do we meet the world’s sustainability needs and grow the economy at the same time? Undergraduate and graduate college students will get a crack at that challenge along with the opportunity to use some pretty sophisticated software.

The company is joining forces with the ESTECO Academy to sponsor the Microgrid Design Competition in collaboration with ANSYS and Gamma Technologies. The challenge: design the best microgrid with reduced overall costs and minimized carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, taking into account operating conditions and other constraints at the Cummins Megasite in Phaltan, India.

“We wanted to get students thinking about a project that involved electrification and alternative energy and see how Cummins is operating in that space,” said Kevin Brittain, Multi-Disciplinary Optimization Group Leader for Cummins Power Systems Engineering in Seymour, Indiana (U.S.A.). “We have woven in the cost aspect and environmental impact so students are challenged to find the ‘perfect’ blend of providing the necessary power at the lowest cost and environmental footprint.”

Entrants will get access to ESTECO’s modeFRONTIER modular environment as part of the challenge, enabling them to use principles of engineering and modelling tools to address the challenge and all its complexities. 

Brittain, who is leading Cummins’ involvement in the competition, is a big proponent of using the latest optimization tools to enable more robust product designs in the face of the conundrum presented by Linebarger and others. The tools use mathematical calculations and related approaches to arrive at better designs faster.

Kevin Brittain, Cummins engineer
Kevin Brittain, Multi-Disciplinary Optimization Group Leader for Cummins Power Systems Engineering

“As engineers, we are always pursuing optimization, in fact all of our lives are really solving optimization problems of some sort,” Brittain said. “The reality is that our problems are becoming more and more complex and processing through the solution space manually and without models is a tremendous challenge.

“Today, the best decision-makers can think two or three layers deep into their trade-off space,” he added. “But with optimization tools coupled with simulation tools like we are asking students to use on this project, we can greatly enhance the decision-making process as we can now consider trade-offs across tens of objectives concurrently.”

Students interested in the challenge can learn more at a special website. The competition includes cash prizes for first, second and third; one year of membership in the ESTECO Academy and members of the top three teams will be considered for internships at Cummins.

“These are really exciting times to be an engineer at Cummins,” Brittain said. “We want to offer our customers a broad portfolio of power products so they can choose what works best for them. That means we need people who can use the latest tools to keep our economy growing and meet the world’s sustainability goals.”

Learn More: ESTECO Academy Microgrid Challenge

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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