Berlin, Maryland, generator expected to enhance peak shaving capabilities

January 12, 2021

by Peter Maloney
APPA News
January 12, 2021

The town of Berlin, Md., has deployed a 2 megawatt (MW) natural gas generator, replacing a diesel generator.

The Caterpillar G3520 generator is expected to enhance the town’s peak shaving capabilities and joins a fleet of three generators that operate about 100 hours a year and are used to offset the cost of energy during periods of high demand in the summer and winter.

Berlin officials estimate its upgraded generation system will save the town up to $600,000 in annual energy costs, including about $200,000 in reduced transmission congestion costs paid to the PJM Interconnection. In addition, maintenance of a gas generator is about half the cost of maintenance for a diesel generator and natural gas is cheaper than diesel gas.

“For more than a century, the Town of Berlin has managed its own power generation capabilities to minimize energy costs for local residents and businesses,” Jeff Fleetwood, town administrator for Berlin, said in a statement.

“We take tremendous pride in offering the lowest prices for electricity on Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” Tim Lawrence, Berlin’s electric utility director, said in a statement. “This Cat gas generator set offers the reliability and low total owning and operating costs that will benefit the town’s finances and utility customers for years to come.”

The Caterpillar natural gas diesel also has lower emissions and is the first generator in the 2 MW to 2.5 MW range certified by the Environmental Protection Agency for use in 60 megahertz power markets.

“Cat gas generator sets are designed to deliver low-emissions, high-efficiency performance to the utilities and their customers who rely on them for the long haul,” Bart Myers, general manager in Caterpillar’s electric power division, said in a statement.

Carter Machinery installed the new generator and will provide periodic inspections and service through a planned maintenance program.

In February 2015, the Town of Berlin became a member of American Municipal Power, which provides wholesale energy and member services for 135 publicly owned electric utilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, Maryland, and Delaware.

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