Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department (WMGLD) supplies power to approximately 13,000 residential and commercial customers, as well as natural gas to 7,000 customers. Because Massachusetts remains a high-cost energy state, WMGLD has taken steps to stabilize the rate it charges customers while continuing to deliver reliable power.
Wakefield recently made several improvements to its electrical infrastructure that increase both capacity and reliability. In the last two years, it has installed two Cat® G3520H generator sets to help manage peak demand. Since the generators can start and load fast, Wakefield can manage electrical demand more effectively at the local level.
Founded in 1894, WMGLD is responsible for supplying power to 13,000 customers and natural gas to 7,000 customers.
WMGLD needs to control peak loads that occur between 4 and 8 p.m., and the Cat® G3520H generators are well-suited to provide power during times of peak demand.
“We were looking for a company that would be responsive and understand our needs—how we planned to use the generators—and we found that Milton Cat was that company.”
Because the Cat generator sets can start fast and load fast, electrical demand can be managed more effectively at the local level to help minimize the demand from large industrial users.
“The key to a unit like our Cat G3520H gensets is that you don’t have a long startup and a long cool down. You can run these units in short increments and offset the peaks when necessary.”
Wakefield is the second of five Boston area municipal utilities to install distributed generation as a tool to better manage energy costs.
“The key to a unit like our Cat G3520H gensets is that you don’t have a long startup and a long cool down,” says Pete Dion, general manager at WMGLD. “You can run these units in short increments and offset the peaks when necessary.”
As a member of Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co., Wakefield can take advantage of pooled transactions to achieve lower rates for its customers. Wakefield has a multi-layered energy portfolio that includes natural gas, nuclear, hydro wind, and solar power to meet different obligations and needs.
Based on how frequently the generators have been running, Wakefield will realize payback for the generator set in about five years, which is less than the initial estimate of 7.5 years. WMGLD selected local Cat dealer Milton Cat to complete the project based on the Caterpillar reputation for quality and reliability, as well as world-class dealer support. Milton Cat continues to work with Wakefield to ensure the units are operating optimally.