December 8, 2020

New Warehouse Facilities Spark Met-Ed System Growth

New Warehouse Facilities Spark Met-Ed System Growth

The new Rehrersburg substation near Lebanon recently was completed to help serve an expanding base of warehousing and distribution customers.

If you’ve recently purchased something online, or even from a local store, it may have come from a warehousing or distribution site powered by Met-Ed.

Since 2013, 37 of these facilities have been built in the Easton and York (Pa.) areas, and near Interstate 78 between Harrisburg and Allentown. Several facilities are one million square feet or more in size, with potential maximum power loads of up to 5 megawatts (MWs). Starbucks, Ace Hardware and operate three of the largest sites.

This growth has added more than 56 MW of customer load, prompting upgrades to Met-Ed’s distribution substations and lines. Keeping up with the rising demand for energy delivery posed by this growth has been a welcome challenge for Walter Woods, Engineering Services supervisor. When a new facility is scheduled for construction, Walter’s group assesses whether the distribution system in that area can handle the projected peak load.

“We’ll determine whether it’s necessary to upgrade or add equipment to an existing substation to increase its capacity,” Walter said. “Often the distribution lines in that area must be reconfigured, too. Sometimes, adding a whole new substation to the system is necessary to serve a very large load increase. Once a project is approved, other engineering groups get involved for design and construction.”

Construction of the new Rehrersburg substation near Lebanon recently was completed. Currently, two new substations are planned in the Easton and Reading areas, while a capacity expansion is underway at the Raintree substation near York. In addition, several more proposed substation projects are being considered.

According to Steve Iseman, Customer Accounts manager, 10 more new warehousing/distribution facilities – requiring more than 19 MW of additional load – are under construction across Met-Ed’s territory. An additional 35 facilities have been proposed, representing a potential further increase topping 49 MW.

“Met-Ed’s geographic location and the area’s transportation network – which offers easy access to a number of major cities nearby – coupled with an abundance of available land, are some of the reasons behind this economic development,” said Steve.

At 1.2 million square feet, this Starbucks distribution center near York, Pa., is one of the largest in Met-Ed. Thirty-seven warehousing facilities have been built in the company’s territory since 2013.