Four Unusual Snowstorms of This Decade

Unusual Snowstorm Picture

It is only October, yet my son is already talking about what to do during snow days. He recalls his memories from last year when students at Minneapolis Public School District enjoyed over 10 days of closings related to cold and snow. As you recall your own joyful snow memories, let’s look back on four unusual snowstorms of this decade. 


Unusual location: Aloha, winter!

An island chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is one of the world’s most popular vacation spots. With a mild climate featuring a winter high of 78°F and a summer high of 85°F, the tropical paradise is known for its beautiful white beaches, not beautiful white snowflakes. The Aloha state’s tallest volcanoes get a dusting of snow at their peak every year, but the recent blanket of snow at Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area (for the first time, it is believed!) gets the crown for the most unusual winter wonderland.    

Unusual season: April showers bring May snow flurries?!

While most of us are conditioned to expect colder temperatures – maybe even snow – from December to March, Minnesotans typically endure a longer, colder winter. In fact, the Twin Cities are the coldest metropolitan area in the continental United States with an average winter temperature of 10°F! Despite the long, cold winters, the mercury begins to rise in late March to early April, thawing the ground and making room for spring in the southern portions of the state. Unfortunately, spring 2013 came later than usual when over a foot of snow blanketed the state in early May.

Unusual amount: when it snows, it pours

In 1921, Silver Lake, CO set the record for most snowfall in a 24-hour period in the United States when 75 inches of snow fell. We haven’t seen a snowfall like that in modern history, but we’ve seen our share of crippling storms, including the blizzard in January 2016. Described as “one of the great blizzards of the past 100 years in terms of amount of snowfall, size of impacted areas and population affected,” Winter Storm Jonas dumped snow as far south as Alabama and Mississippi with over 27 inches of snow falling in New York City within 24 hours

Unusual impact: you’re grounded!

In the first half of 2019, about 38% of flight delays were the result of weather. Despite weather delays being a common occurrence across the U.S., it’s rare to see the media reporting on flight delays or cancellations. On the contrary, Winter Storm Harper was all over the news in January 2019 due to its impact on air travel when it hit a wide geography from the West Coast into the Great Plains to New England. More than 4,000 flights were cancelled, potentially impacting half million passengers.  


These four snowstorms were unusual and unique for many reasons. But power outages are a common result of snow storms. Tree limbs with heavy snow accumulation can break, bringing down power lines. Additionally, heavy snow and ice can collect on the power lines themselves, causing them to break. In some cases, the winds accompanying a snow storm can bring down power lines. Having a plan for backup power will ensure your heat stays on, keeping your family safe and warm for the duration of the power outage. 

Are you and your family prepared for the winter storm season? Start your preparation by checking out 12 Winter Storm Season Prep Tips. And sign up for the Cummins newsletter to get valuable resources and tips, including information on backup power options, to help your family weather the storm. 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Energy IQ: Why businesses need to unlock value with better energy management strategies

Think your business couldn't benefit from having an energy management strategy? Think again. 

Most successful companies have a marketing, product or supply chain strategy, but there is one more important but often overlooked area to consider when wanting to maximize profit: An energy management strategy. Today, a well-planned energy management strategy can position a company to take advantage of the recent trends shaping the energy markets.

"The days of considering energy costs as a given is long gone for most businesses," said Gino Butera, Vice President of Power Generation at Cummins. "A combination of five macro trends ranging from digitization and de-carbonization to electrification and de-regulation has created opportunities for businesses to be more pro-active with their energy costs." 

Energy use intensity for commercial buildings
Commercial businesses with higher energy use intensity benefit the most from energy management strategies.

According to a 2019 Deloitte study, 88% of businesses have changed their view of energy procurement from simply a cost to the business to an opportunity to create value. Cummins has identified three benefits or values to be unlocked by an effective energy management strategy.

No. 1: Improving the company’s financials

Energy bills (electricity, heating and transportation fuel) are one of the major expenses for many businesses of any size. If you are simply paying the energy bills without seeking the opportunities to lower your bills, you might be leaving money on the table. 

When it comes to electricity and heating costs, there are opportunities ranging from demand response and demand charge management to combined heat and power for your business to lower costs. You can even create a competitive advantage for your business through an effective energy management strategy, depending upon your local cost of electricity. Hawaii's largest craft brewer has accomplished this and created its competitive edge with the ability to estimate the cost of electricity. 

An effective energy management strategy would integrate the latest technologies in intelligent controls and microgrids into your company’s infrastructure, enabling your business to take advantage of financial opportunities. 

No. 2: Protecting the core business from interruptions

Lives, money and reputation. In the case of certain healthcare facilities, interruptions in a business could have disastrous outcomes including putting lives at risk. Even in the least harmful case, an interruption caused by a power outage will still cost your business money in the form of lost business. Both instances could do irreversible damage to the company’s reputation.

Even the most reliable power grids are at risk to fail. For example, electricity customers in the U.S experienced an average of over seven hours without power due to outages in 2017. In some states such as Maine and Florida, customers experienced an average of over 30 hours without power due to outages during the same year. 

An effective energy management strategy would feature a diverse set of energy assets ranging from storage systems to emergency generators to minimize interruptions caused by power outages. A diversity of energy assets would increase the resiliency of your company’s energy infrastructure instead of relying solely on the grid. 

No. 3: Advancing the environmental sustainability efforts

Today, more businesses are not just talking about sustainability but are establishing environmental sustainability goals to keep themselves accountable. One might think this is a trend for large multinational corporations, but in fact increasing number of small businesses also have sustainability goals.  

A business’ environmental footprint gets impacted by a variety of factors ranging from how its facilities are built to how its products are disposed, yet the use of energy gets the spotlight due to its significant impact on overall environmental sustainability. 

Electricity goals for businesses
Most companies have goals to reduce carbon footprint, and use of electricity and natural gas. 

An effective energy management strategy introduces new energy assets that produce less harmful pollutants to displace high-carbon sources such as coal. These new assets, including renewables and storage technologies, help businesses improve preservation of air, water and soil. 

Whether it is improved financials, continuity to serve customers or reducing environmental impact, an effective energy management strategy has multi-faceted benefits for any business. Building an effective strategy requires a consideration of both the company’s future goals and current operating realities. Check out this article outlining how you can start building an effective energy management strategy for your business.  If you are ready to take your energy strategy to the next steps, you can simply get in touch with an expert from Cummins to partner with you

Sign up below for Energy IQ to periodically receive relevant insights and trends about energy management. To learn more about distributed generation solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage

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1 Deloitte Insights (2019). Deloitte Resources 2019 Study [PDF file]. Retrieved from 

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

More power generation for Aga Khan Hospital's growing needs

With rapid growth in various segments of the health sector, the foundation required more power generation for their existing powerhouse.
With rapid growth in various segments of the health sector, the foundation required more power generation for their existing powerhouse.

When the Aga Khan Hospital and Medical College Foundation (Pakistan) Ltd. in Karachi required a reliable standby power system, it turned to its reliable partner in the power generation industry, Cummins, with authorized local distributor Orient Energy Systems. With rapid growth in various segments of the health sector, the foundation required more power generation for their existing powerhouse, thus upgrading their system from 1 MW to 1.6 MW for their upcoming projects. OES provided complete engineering and installation support of the Cummins C2200D5 generator set. 

A regular customer, Cummins strong brand reputation and The Power of One™ concept – that all major components are design, manufactured and supported by Cummins – were key factors for the customer’s continued partnership, along with customer support and execution from OES. Cummins is the only global company that designs and manufactures totally integrated generator sets and power generation systems, bringing engineering leadership, knowledge and experience to all the critical elements of both generator sets and complete power systems: engine, alternators and controls so that they all work together through seamless integration.

For more information on healthcare power solutions, visit

Anisha George

As a Marketing Communications Specialist, Anisha supports marketing, communications and event management for Africa and Middle East regions. Prior to joining Cummins in 2011, she gained industry experience working in the event management field. [email protected] 

Common ground: Two themes emerge in annual Microgrid Challenge

Lowering carbon emissions through the use of energy storage systems and low-emission generators was the name of the game in Cummins' most recent microgrid competition. 

Cummins recently teamed with ESTECO to co-sponsor the Microgrid Design Competition. The competition attracted teams of engineers from 56 universities representing 15 countries around the world.

As part of the competition rules, the competitors had to design the best microgrid with reduced overall costs and minimized carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. While developing their designs, the teams had to consider the operating conditions and other constraints at the Cummins Megasite in Phaltan, India; such as the need for varying amounts of energy during the day and night.

"The challenge was to design the most cost and energy-efficient hybrid microgrid to supply energy to our Cummins campus in India," said Gary Johansen, Executive Director of Power Systems Engineering at Cummins. "The winning team, FESB Energetika from the University of Split, Croatia, deployed various renewable sources and use case scenarios to lower carbon emissions and optimize costs in their proposal." 

Cummins ESTECO Microgrid Design Competition - Winning team
Pictured here is the winning team, FESB Energetika, from the University of Split, Croatia. 

Microgrids optimize the use of renewable energy sources to minimize carbon emissions

Proposals from the various teams varied greatly, with each leveraging different combinations of renewable sources to lower carbon emissions.

For example, team FESB Energetika leveraged a mix of water, solar and wind to optimize the energy supply, and explored the use of excess power to generate hydrogen for fuel cells. Meanwhile, team Polimi Energy built their microgrid design with solar as the core, deploying a well-defined grid control logic. Third place-winner, team Polimi Power, focused on realistic problem constraints and applied a clear dispatch strategy as a part of the microgrid system. 

Intermittent nature of renewables addressed through energy storage systems and low emission generators

Teams optimized their microgrid designs by using both stationary storage units and low emission generator sets to address the intermittent nature of renewables. Stationary storage units are designed to store the excess energy while renewables are up and running and re-deploy the stored energy when the campus’ energy needs exceed renewable generation. Low emission generators are used in microgrid designs either to power, when needed, the campus directly or to charge the stationary storage units. 

Each of the 56 teams should be applauded for their efforts to tackle what Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger calls the "challenge of our age." More specifically, these teams created designs to meet the world’s sustainability needs and grow the economy at the same time. Congratulations to FESB Energetika, Polimi Energy and Polimi Power for their award-winning designs.

To learn more about trends in microgrids and distributed generation, follow Cummins  on Facebook and LinkedIn. To learn more about how Cummins is powering a world that’s “Always On,” visit here.

Think your friends and colleagues would like this content? Share on LinkedIn and Facebook.


Raise Your Energy IQ

Grow professionally with energy trends and insights delivered to your inbox.

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

One day without data centers equals the loss of three everyday conveniences

Data Center Image

Think your daily routine doesn't rely heavily on data centers? Think again. 

While Tom’s two kids are finishing breakfast, he checks his email, then today’s traffic on his phone. He listens to “Planet Money” while they drive to school before he prepares for the worst part of his commute. Tom hasn’t even reached the office, but he’s already utilized a service three times that most people are oblivious to – and it’s not the internet.

It’s the data center few people see, but billions of people depend on to keep their phones and other devices connected. A Nielsen study estimates 3.4 billion people around the world spend on average six and a half hours online per day. 

While one day without data centers would impact most of our daily activities, below are three modern conveniences we would lose.

1. Streaming your favorite show or movie

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have over 300 million subscribers around the world, and streaming has become the new norm of watching movies and TV shows. This increasing popularity of streaming resulted in  Netflix alone  accounting for 15% of the total downstream volume of traffic across the entire internet. Purchasing Consumption Use

2: Shopping online for every day needs

Online commerce introduced us to hassle-free shopping anywhere and anytime. In 2018, over one billion people compared prices, read others’ reviews and ordered online. In the U.S., Amazon Prime alone has over 100 million subscribers, over two thirds of American households. 

3: Catching up with friends on social media

Getting news updates, re-connecting with friends from childhood or discovering new friends with common interests, social media offers various benefits to all users. Users like social media enough to spend over two hours on average per day, about 15% of the time we are awake. 

Whether it is spending time on social media or streaming movies, a combination of technologies helps us enjoy our connected lives, and data centers are the little-known part of this infrastructure. Data centers store, process and distribute data to enable our daily need for connectivity.

Every day we drive the need for more data centers, making them one of the largest consumers of energy. In 2016, data centers around the world collectively consumed more electricity than the world’s fifth largest economy; the United Kingdom. And this is why Cummins is putting its brightest minds into delivering technologies that can make data centers more sustainable.

Making data centers more energy efficientElectricity Use Breakdown Image

Typically, a data center acquires energy in the form of electricity from the power grid. While this brings the advantage of convenience, it also has an often-overlooked environmental cost. This cost is due to the inefficiencies in centrally producing the electricity and distributing it through large geographies, where there are transmission and distribution losses.

Cummins has partnered with Microsoft and McKinstry to evaluate the potential of fuel cells in improving efficiency, reducing emissions and cutting costs. Powering datacenters with natural gas-powered fuel cells could improve energy efficiency by preventing these losses. When the fuel cells deliver the savings, the result is less environmental impact in powering ever expanding data centers.

Learn more about Cummins and how our products power data centers around the world

Join us at the 7x24 Exchange Fall Conference in Phoenix and Data Center Dynamics in London, to find out how Cummins can partner with you to keep your data center Always On.

If you are interested in career opportunities relevant to the data center industry, check out internship and employment opportunities with Cummins, where you can partner with our customers in the data center industry. 

To learn more about data centers and their role in our connected lives, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. To learn more about data center power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

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