Daimler Trucks North America Flips the Switch for 1,560 Solar Panels

Switch On event sheds light on company’s commitment to sustainability

Cleveland, NC – Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) today will commemorate, with a “Switch On” ceremony, its Cleveland, N.C., Freightliner Truck Manufacturing Plant’s status as a Duke Energy distributed generation, solar energy site.

Through a 25-year contract, DTNA is providing the land to support 1,560 solar panels, owned and operated by Duke Energy. This photovoltaic solar field project is projected to produce 359 kilowatts of renewable energy for Duke Energy customers – enough electricity to power approximately 38 average-sized homes.

“Providing the land for these solar panels was a visible, tangible way to fulfill our company’s vision to be a good community partner, a responsible corporate citizen and a proper steward of our cherished natural resources,” said Roger Nielsen, chief operating officer of DTNA.

The power generated by these panels goes back into the community to help Duke Energy meet its residential renewable energy commitment. A second North Carolina DTNA facility, the High Point, N.C. headquarters of Thomas Built Buses, is home to another 1,690 panels and is projected to power an additional 41 average-sized homes annually.

The renewable energy standard for North Carolina requires each public electric utility to meet at least 12.5 percent of its North Carolina retail customers’ electricity needs through new renewable energy sources or energy efficiency measures by 2021.

Reaching the community

“The visibility of the solar panel field created an opportunity to educate the community and the next generation of power users on renewable energy possibilities,” said Mike McCurry, Cleveland plant manager for Freightliner Trucks.

Plant employees worked with Cleveland Elementary School to develop an educational program, and during a series of five assemblies, educated more than 300 local students about renewable energy. As part of the program, students were invited to participate in a “renewable energy” art and essay contest. As part of the celebration, the winners of the contest will be on hand to receive their awards.

Commitment to the environment

Daimler Trucks North America is committed to manufacturing its vehicles in an environmentally responsible manner, and that commitment manifests itself in many ways.

“We at Daimler take our environmental responsibilities seriously. As part of our responsibility to the world, we measure the impact of our manufacturing process to ensure the leadership of our products and our facilities,” continued Nielsen.

Using Daimler’s Truck Operating System (TOS) lean management program, Cleveland-based employee teams actively look for the best options for reducing waste and recycling. They also utilize a company created ECO (Environmentally Conscious Operations) checklist, whereby team leaders report in five major environmental impact categories.

For the Cleveland facility, current environmental achievements include:

“We are proud of our efforts to conserve energy, reduce our environmental impacts and to be a part of Duke Energy’s distributed generation plan, and we are excited to share all of those efforts with the community,” concluded McCurry.

About Freightliner Trucks

Freightliner Trucks is a division of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 4-8 trucks and is a Daimler company, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.

About Duke Energy

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 19,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 2.4 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 4 million customers located in five states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 12 million people. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

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