Columbus, Ind.-based Cummins Inc., a provider of diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, has entered into a virtual power purchase agreement (PPA) 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 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. When fully operational, the wind farm expansion will generate renewable electricity equivalent to the amount Cummins uses at its Indiana facilities, the company says. The PPA provides a hedge against rising energy prices, and the company will receive renewable energy certificates to ensure GHG reductions.
Cummins, a Fortune 500 company, says it has been actively pursuing energy efficiency and GHG reduction in its facilities since 2006, when it set its first GHG-reduction goal. The company also has a total of 11 solar arrays, including projects in Jamestown, N.Y., and Beijing, China.
“With all of our environmental sustainability goals, we want to maximize our impact,” says Mark Dhennin, director of 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 [virtual] PPA was the most cost-effective way to achieve the greatest greenhouse-gas reduction in Indiana.”