BMW Receives Duke Energy Power Partner Award
Spartanburg, S.C. – March 20, 2013…For its individual efforts in energy efficiency, sustainability and business growth, BMW Manufacturing was a recipient of the 2012 Duke Energy Power Partner Award.
In an official ceremony Wednesday, officials from Duke Energy presented Mr. Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing, with the award.
“BMW and Duke Energy have been strategic partners since 1992, when the BMW Group announced their intention to build the company’s first plant outside of Germany, said Kerscher. Duke Energy’s ability to repeatedly execute the plant’s energy needs throughout 5 major expansions is to be commended.”
“We deeply respect BMW’s commitment to sustainability and their innovative approach to responsible energy use,” said Gayle Lanier, Duke Energy senior vice president and Chief Customer Officer. “Their collaboration to identify and implement energy-saving changes has improved their sustainability and operational success, while also improving the very community where their employees live and work. The energy they are saving is powering other homes and businesses in the community, which helps delay the need for new power plants and supports our goal of delivering increasingly clean energy for our customers.”
For a decade, BMW has been using methane gas generated at a landfill located near the plant site to efficiently cogenerate electrical power and hot water. Methane gas is captured and converted to energy providing nearly 50% of our plant’s total energy needs. Implementation of the landfill gas program reduces CO2 emissions by 92,000 tons per year. To date, the landfill gas-to-energy project has saved BMW an annual average of $7 million in energy costs.
In 2010, BMW began using hydrogen to power their fuel cell material handling fleet. The fleet has now grown to more than 230 pieces, making BMW one of the largest hydrogen fuel cell material handling fleets in the world. To make this program even more sustainable, the company is actively exploring options to use landfill gas to produce hydrogen.
In 2012, the company announced that they had added solar to their suite of alternative energy. Installation of 400 solar modules, each capable of producing 240 watts of energy, now provides power to the Zentrum Museum making the facility carbon neutral. In addition, the solar panels provide energy to three electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Also, in 2012, the plant achieved a major milestone. With the exception of one regulated waste stream, BMW’s plant in South Carolina claims a Zero Waste-to-Landfill status.
For their efforts in on-site energy production, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently named BMW Manufacturing the second largest Green Power Partner. Green Power rankings recognize U.S. businesses and communities that are making investments in on-site power generation. BMW’s U.S. plant currently produces 38% of its electrical requirements on-site, mostly from its landfill gas-to-energy program.