“If you think about what’s happening and what caught the energy transformation, you’re seeing the influx of electric vehicles, you’re seeing a lot of growth as far as apartments, homes being built and businesses locating in Suffolk, and specifically this portion in Suffolk,” Said Steven A. Harmon, CEC’s President and CEO. “We see an increase in demand, and if we’re going to be fulfilling our mission statement, the way that we strive to do, then we’re going to have the capacity and the reliability to make those things happen.”
The Copeland Substation is a major addition to CEC’s distribution infrastructure. It has a higher power rating than the Lummis delivery point that it will replace, meaning that electricity can flow through at a higher capacity and more reliable pace.
Copeland will improve system reliability for CEC’s member-owners, particularly in and near the City of Suffolk, by better balancing demand for electricity among existing members while also facilitating the system’s expansion and ever-growing demand. The cooperative’s growth rate over the past 15 years has averaged about 1.5 percent annually, with the most recent three years averaging five percent growth.
By increasing the robustness of CEC’s infrastructure, Copeland reduces the risks posed by manmade or natural disasters that have the potential to cause a widespread outage. The substation will help members benefit from a more reliable and resilient power supply.
Substations are a vital part of infrastructure to not only provide consistency to end users but also maintain civilization. First responders, disaster shelters, life safety, and critical infrastructure all depend on the reliability of utilities for safety and communication. In the event of natural and manmade disasters that may interrupt power at any of CEC’s substations, Community Electric is fortunate to develop and partner with the RECORE energy solutions provider to create a microgrid for the headquarters office. This microgrid allows all office personnel and communication to remain intact.