Cummins Partners with Wind Farm to Expand Low-Carbon Energy

Cummins leaders meet with EDP Renewables officials at Meadow Lake Farm earlier this year.

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.”

Related Articles

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. 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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