PowerSecure early last year won a contract to construct and install a PowerBlock Tier 4 diesel generator system to bring 3.75 megawatts of electric generation to Berlin, Pa.
Due to its location in the mountains, the small town often experiences extreme winter weather. Frequent power outages caused by weather, coupled with rising wholesale electricity rates, led Berlin to seek a highly reliable and affordable alternative energy solution. The ultra-clean Tier 4 PowerSecure PowerBlock generation system fit the bill.
The Borough of Berlin purchases wholesale power then distributes it to the approximately 1,150 electric customers they serve.
The PowerSecure generators will provide 100 percent emergency backup power, as well as peak shaving to lower costs and importantly, they also bring peace of mind for the entire community. The system not only makes Berlin’s existing electric grid more reliable and resilient, the system also affords the town an opportunity to increase business and economic development.
In May, PowerSecure completed startup activity on the generators and began testing in June, operating seamlessly for 14 hours. The hours of operation included peak shaving and emergency backup, while the wholesale power provider shut down existing equipment to perform repairs and routine maintenance.
Recently residents, town officials and PowerSecure representatives took part in a commissioning ceremony of the new generator system during the town’s annual community day event. The ceremony provided residents an opportunity to view the inside of the generator housing and learn more about how the system operates. After town officials conducted a ceremonial count down, the generators were started remotely by PowerSecure’s 24/7 monitoring center in Wake Forest, N.C.
“The savings Berlin expects to realize from utilizing the generators during times of peak usage will enable our customers to continue to realize the lowest kilowatt-hour rate of any of the 35 Pennsylvania Municipal Electric Systems and of those charged by most Investor Owned Utilities,” said Tom Jones, Berlin executive secretary.
“The citizens of Berlin should be proud of the forethought of the Berlin Council in making this project a reality. This is one of the first communities in the country that is completely backed up by an ultra-clean burning diesel generator,” said Robert Tugwell, PowerSecure public utilities vice president.
“We thank the Borough of Berlin for allowing us the opportunity to serve you,” he added. This is a long-term partnership and we look forward to working together for many years.”
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Robert Tugwell, CEM
Vice President Public Utilities