Cummins Inc. 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 megawatts, enough to power approximately 20,000 average Indiana homes, to the existing 600 megawatt capacity at the Meadow Lake Wind Farm complex. When fully operational, the wind farm expansion will generate renewable electricity equivalent to the amount Cummins uses at its Indiana facilities.
“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. 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 the project can 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.”
“With all of our environmental sustainability goals, we want to maximize our impact,” said Mark Dhennin, director, Energy and Environment, Cummins Inc. “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 says 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.
Cummins’ Environmental Sustainability Plan includes a 2020 energy intensity reduction goal of 32 percent from a 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 use 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.