Cummins announced that it has entered into a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with EDP Renewables North America (EDPR NA) to expand a wind farm in Northern Indiana. The agreement is another step for Cummins as it works ambitiously to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The expansion will add 75 MW, enough to power approximately 20,000 average Indiana homes, to the existing 600-MW capacity at the Meadow Lake Wind Farm complex.
“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.
Once fully operational, the wind farm expansion will generate renewable electricity equivalent to the amount Cummins uses at its Indiana facilities.
“Greenhouse gases are our largest impact, and we are currently working 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,” added Mormino. “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.”
In a VPPA, the wind farm owner sells the power into the broad power markets that feed the regional electric grid. The agreement with Cummins provides certainty that enables the project to move forward as it guarantees a fixed price for that electricity. 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.
“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.”
Cummins has a history as an environmental leader. It has been actively pursuing energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction in its facilities since 2006 when it set its first GHG reduction goal. The company has a total of 11 solar arrays including projects installed in Jamestown, New York and in Beijing, China.
“With all of our environmental sustainability goals, we want to maximize our impact,” said Mark Dhennin, Director, Energy and Environment, 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.”
Cummins’ Environmental Sustainability Plan includes a 2020 energy intensity reduction goal of 32% from the base year of 2010. Also part of the 2020 goal was a commitment to increase renewable energy, and this VPPA delivers on that promise. Cummins has committed to using science-based target methodology as it develops its next GHG reduction goal.
In 2016, Cummins received the Award of Excellence from the Clean Energy Ministerial in the Energy Management Leadership Awards. The Company has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index since 2006 and has a reputation in the industry for its environmental leadership by reducing emissions from commercial vehicles and other products with its technological advances.