Immediately following, Northampton County City Council members unanimously voted to secure generator sets to protect the facility from future power interruptions. Planning delays slowed the county’s plans, and in 2018 Gracedale’s power infrastructure was once again no match against Winter Storm Riley, this time enduring a 72-hour outage in freezing temperatures. Following this event, Lamont McClure, Northampton County Executive, prioritized the facility’s update and ordered the immediate delivery and installation of backup generators.
County officials tasked Richard Szatkowski, PE, principal of Arris Engineering, a local electrical engineering firm, to design the project. After working together on previous projects, Szatkowski knew Emergency Systems Service Company (ESSCO), the local MTU Onsite Energy distributor, would be ideal for this project and tapped the company as a partner. Later, the project was competitively bid and awarded to Wind Gap Electric Inc., who had worked with ESSCO on a number of projects previously. The partnership between these three entities was just the boost needed to make headway on the project.
“We assembled a solid team to tackle each technical concern that could potentially arise,” said Peter Albanese, president of Wind Gap Electric. “Both ESSCO and Arris brought in high-level technical expertise that contributed to the successful and timely completion of this project.”
The collaboration between Arris Engineering, Wind Gap Electric and ESSCO led to the seamless delivery and installation of three 1,000 kW MTU Onsite Energy 16V 2000 DS100 generator sets at 480 voltage. Collaboration at this level is an anomaly in the industry.
“When the distributor has the opportunity and the knowledge to partner with the electrical engineering firm during the specification stage it is the highest honor of our industry,” said Bob Hafich, president of sales at ESSCO. “Our president of operations, Joe Hafich, and his deep knowledge of the system was instrumental in making this project a success for our company.”