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Seeing the impact of self-generating energy

Seeing the impact of self-generating energy

By State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis)

In recent weeks, I have highlighted a number of energy policies I believe will move Indiana forward, with the self-generation of energy at the forefront. Over the past few months, Tate & Lyle, a global supplier of food and beverage ingredients and solutions in Lafayette, has exemplified this idea of self-generation by modifying their facility to create their own natural gas, heat and power system.

"Energy and its efficient use has been, and continues to be, a key competitive priority for Tate & Lyle across our global plant network," said Chris Olsen, vice president at Tate & Lyle. "Our Lafayette South plant is a great example of this in action. Lafayette South is a consistent annual recipient of the EPA’s Energy Star certification for energy efficiency. While we take pride in this achievement, our teams understand that, in order to maintain this same high standard of efficiency year on year, we must continuously review and improve every aspect of our plant energy operations."

Tate & Lyle will invest $75 million to provide significant environmental and economic improvements to its Lafayette South corn wet milling facility. This investment followed the company's announcement of new sustainability targets to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, eliminate coal from its operations and reduce water use by 2030.

New gas turbines will generate electricity and steam to power and heat the facility, delivering a significant improvement in energy and operational efficiency. The new co-generation system will replace the site’s coal-fired boiler, delivering an estimated 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an estimated 5% reduction in water use.

Not only is this a great step for Tate & Lyle and the city of Lafayette, but the state of Indiana as a whole. On top of shifting to a cleaner energy source like natural gas, companies investing in themselves and creating their own energy results in a reduction in the investment utilities have to make, saving all customers money over time.

"We see capital investments like our co-generation project as an essential step forward in maintaining reliability and ensuring our energy utilization lives up to both our commitments to operate responsibly and deliver best in class competitive performance for the future," says Chris Olsen. "Tate & Lyle has also been working closely with Duke Energy, Indiana and Vectren Energy Delivery during the development and implementation of the co-generation project to help ensure the facility has the best chance to maintain and grow its contribution to the Indiana economy."

I am pleased to see companies in Indiana leading the charge in creating cleaner and more efficient energy, and I look forward to seeing others do the same down the road.