Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Revving up Energy Efficiency at the Cummins Plant in Jamestown, NY

November 14, 2014

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On the roof of the Cummins plant, tour participants take a peek at a new 2 MW solar panel installation. From left to right: Dennis Phillips, the Jamestown Post Journal, Maria Vargas, DOE, Andre de Fontaine, DOE, Mike Abbate, Cummins.| Photo courtesy of Cummins Inc.

On the roof of the Cummins plant, tour participants take a peek at a new 2 MW solar panel installation. From left to right: Dennis Phillips, the Jamestown Post Journal, Maria Vargas, DOE, Andre de Fontaine, DOE, Mike Abbate, Cummins.| Photo courtesy of Cummins Inc.

Cummins Inc. is a Fortune 500 company that is best known for designing, manufacturing, and distributing engines, filtration, and power generation products. And as one of the founding partners of the Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge, Cummins is enjoying remarkable success in driving energy savings—which translate into increased profitability and environmental stewardship for the company. Cummins is already exceeding an initial 25% energy intensity reduction target across all U.S. facilities.

Last Thursday, DOE recognized Cummins for its leadership in energy efficiency with a visit to the Jamestown Engine plant, one of the company’s flagship facilities and its main production plant for heavy-duty engines. Maria Vargas, Director of the Better Buildings Challenge, and other EERE staff made the trip upstate to see the company’s successes first-hand.

Through a series of infrastructure improvements and installation of rooftop solar panels, the plant achieved more than 30% energy savings. These are impressive savings, given the building’s size and product output, which spans more than 1 million square feet and producing over 1.5 million engines in 40 years of existence. It is the first of three Cummins plants to achieve zero landfill status by using or recycling by-products from the manufacturing process instead of sending waste on for landfill disposal or incineration.

On the site tour, the Cummins team led participants across the factory floor, around assembly lines, through a mini-museum, and up to the factory roof. Inside the plant, engineers offered inside looks at new heating and cooling equipment, efficient lighting, and upgrades to controls in the boiler room.

Making it up to the roof, tour participants gathered in front of recently installed solar panels as an owner of Solar Liberty, a photovoltaic solar panel systems company based in Buffalo, New York, explained how the solar panels are capable of providing up to 5 percent of the plant’s energy on sunny days.

By working with a third party, Solar Liberty, Cummins is able to tap into carbon-free power with no upfront costs and monthly payments that are equal to what they would pay the utility for the same amount of electricity. This means Cummins paid nothing to install the solar panels and is not paying any additional cost for renewable power.

You can learn more about Cummins commitment to drive energy efficiency across its 104 plants and facilities spanning 8 million square feet in this two-minute video about the company’s Energy Champions program, an effort to empower energy leaders across their plants to take action to save energy.