The 1,168-megawatt solar installation at the Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix) manufacturing operation in Huntington, Indiana, has earned the 2022 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in the category of energy efficiency/renewable resources, according to the company's news release.
Bendix said it accepted the award on Sept. 21 at a ceremony in Indianapolis, Indiana. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Energy named the Bendix solar effort a 2022 Better Project Award winner in the department’s Better Plants program.
The annual Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence is administered by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. They are reserved for programs or projects that positively impact the state’s environment and demonstrate measurable environmental, economic, and social benefits
“We’re pleased that our efforts in Huntington have earned the respected distinction of a Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence,” said Maria Gutierrez, Bendix director of corporate responsibility and sustainability. “Our goal when we came online in August 2021 was to reduce Bendix’s carbon footprint while also saving costs. With the installation’s help, we’re succeeding, as it’s meeting about 30% of the energy needs at the massive Plant 1 manufacturing facility on the campus. Beyond that, we forecast it will decrease the carbon footprint of the Huntington operation by 19% and Bendix’s carbon footprint across North America by 3%. To be recognized by the home state of our operation is especially meaningful.”
The Energy Efficiency/Renewable Resources category of the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence is for projects or programs that prevent pollution by either reducing energy use or by producing energy using zero- or very-low-emission technologies, according to Bendix.
“The solar array is Bendix’s first, and it produces electricity through 2,612 450-watt panels,” said Bill Schubert, Bendix corporate manager, environmental and sustainability. “During normal hours of operation at the plant, the facility will use all the energy generated. But during nonworking hours like weekends and holidays, Bendix will be able to send excess energy back to the electrical grid. This process will increase the utility’s green energy and reduce Bendix’s utility costs.”
With the Huntington installation, Bendix said it expects to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with its long-term sustainability goals. Bendix announced a commitment with Knorr-Bremse to cut CO2 emissions in half by 2030. Additionally, in 2021, Knorr-Bremse ramped up efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by maximizing renewable energy purchases and offsetting energy use, according to Bendix.
Bendix's installation of two solar arrays at the Acuña, Mexico, manufacturing campus has generated 1,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually and reduced the campus CO2 emissions from the 2018 baseline by 13%, according to the company. This project is on track to be on-line in 2023.