Major infrastructure upgrades can be very capital intensive, and the Jamestown Engine Plant (JEP) in western New York hadn’t seen many over the last 40 years. All that changed in 2012, however, including the plant’s approach to energy use.
A “deep energy retrofit” project is underway at the nearly one million square foot facility as part of a corporate-wide commitment to improving energy efficiency. The project combines a suite of energy conservation measures and necessary infrastructure upgrades to achieve significant energy savings and optimal systems performance for the entire facility.
Cummins is showcasing the four-year, $23.8 million project as part of the Company’s participation in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge. The Challenge provides technical assistance to commercial and industrial building owners. The Company anticipates the energy savings from just the energy efficiency measures in the project will be more than 61 billion BTUs, which translates into about $604,000 in annual savings.
When all factors are taken into account, the $3.3 million of the project specifically for energy efficiency investment is expected to pay for itself in about four years. Nearly half of the project’s overall cost went towards a new roof with improved thermal insulation. Cummins acquired the Jamestown Engine Plant in 1974, though the facility dates back to 1968.
Much of the original base infrastructure within the plant remains. This includes three large gas-fired steam boilers, related distribution piping, 26 large heating and ventilating units, 29 dock heaters and five snow-melt systems.
“This equipment has become unreliable, incurring significant repair costs and operational interruptions,” said Randy Myers, facilities manager for JEP. “Putting energy efficiency upgrades on older equipment would not have given us the best results. We believe implementing a phased, whole building energy and infrastructure improvement project is our best investment.”
Prior to the project, the plant partnered with Duke Energy One and Mazza Energy Conservation Services to complete a thorough site assessment. The most significant uses of energy were primarily facility based and included air handlers, air conditioning systems, ventilation systems, exhaust fans, dock heaters, and steam users.
Other pieces of equipment were also evaluated. The energy efficiency components of the project include heating and cooling upgrades, compressed air optimization and controls upgrades. Steam is being almost entirely eliminated, replaced by direct fired gas units.
A few localized manufacturing processes, however, will require three small steam generators to meet limited local variable demand.
The Jamestown plant is very actively engaged in other projects in keeping with Cummins’ environmental mission. The plant was the first Cummins site to achieve zero disposal status (no waste disposed in a landfill), a significant accomplishment. JEP’s water projects include controlling water run-off, eliminating all ground contamination and enhancing wastewater treatment effectiveness before the water goes to the sewer district.
New cooling equipment will be installed saving about 4 million gallons of water annually. The plant has moved to use more environmentally friendly chemicals and a tree planting initiative is achieving both site beautification and carbon capture.
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