POWER THROUGH THE PEAK

City of Lehi lowers energy costs with peak shaving

With the rapid development of the tech industry, the population of Lehi, Utah has increased by 134 percent since 2000. To keep up with this growth, Lehi City Power sought to replace its outdated facility with a new $17.5 million campus, which includes a distributed energy facility used for peak shaving to offset the occasionally high cost of grid power.

Opened in March 2018, the Broadbent Generation Facility has three Cat® G3520H generator sets, which produce 7.2 megawatts of power during times of peak demand. Cat dealer Wheeler Machinery managed all aspects of power systems installations, offering the end user one point of contact during the development phase as well as an experienced electric power dealer to rely on for product support upon project completion.    

As a member of Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), Lehi receives wholesale electric energy and other energy services, but it can also contract with other energy providers. A specialist at Lehi monitors the energy market to predict when the cost of grid power will spike. When grid power rates exceed the cost of natural gas, Lehi notifies UAMPS that it will run the generator sets.

“Having our own source of power generation is a hedge, because if we don’t have it then we know we’re just stuck to the market,” says Crystal Robinson, forecast and resources manager for Lehi City Power. “If the market price is high, then we have another option.”

Based on peak demand, the Broadbent Generation Facility can produce up to 10 percent of Lehi’s energy needs but also has room to accommodate additional gensets in the future.

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