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PJM - MISSION CRITICAL SITE
While Elliott-Lewis Corporation is committed to keeping all its customers comfortable, it faces special challenges in providing its trademark “Service You Can Depend On” to mission critical companies. One such client, PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of electricity in 13 states and the District of Columbia, has just named Elliott-Lewis Corporation as its first Preferred Vendor. “A Preferred Vendor is a service provider whose value cannot be measured solely in dollars and cents,” said Joe Smith, Elliott-Lewis senior sales engineer. “We work very closely with PJM’s excellent facilities staff to create a team approach that focuses clearly on keeping our collective eye on the ball. For all of us that ball is undoubtedly reliability.”
Sales Engineer Joe Smith (right)
on site during the installation.
It is imperative that, as Elliott-Lewis performs HVAC services and executes critical projects on campus, it never interferes with PJM’s daily operation. “We are all cognizant of the fact that we can never compromise reliability, and we are confident that through our precise execution and vigilant efforts we help to ensure it,” Smith added. “In a small but vital role, we are helping to keep the lights on.” Smith has managed the PJM account for Elliott-Lewis for the past seven years.
From its Valley Forge campus, PJM acts like a traffic controller for power transmission, routing electricity from more than 1,300 generation sources over 61,200 miles of transmission lines to deliver power to 58 million people. Founded in 1927, PJM administers competitive wholesale markets for large blocks of electricity. In a way they act like a stock market for power. The system routes electricity generated by everything from nuclear plants to windmills.
While the system is computer and internet driven, the decisions made by the PJM staff, who watch the grid and run “what if” scenarios, creates such an effective system. They deal with any event – from weather conditions, equipment failures and anticipated power-use cycles for the day, week or season.
The necessary security measures needed to protect PJM’s vital function required Elliott-Lewis to utilize its experience and creativity to meet PJM's unique needs. PJM’s mission-critical work takes place in a secure, underground facility where huge screens display power flows tracked by banks of computers. Elliott-Lewis maintains and services the critical data center. Elliott-Lewis has to insure that no matter what the conditions may be at ground level, this underground environment is kept at optimum operating temperatures for ideal climate control for the equipment, dispatchers and supervisors who observe and route the power across the system 24/7.
Elliott-Lewis personnel authorized to service PJM undergo an extensive background check and security training process before they ever set foot in the controlled areas of the campus.
These pre-approved, mission-qualified service technicians must be available 24 hours a day to provide PJM with an immediate response on any service call. “Most mechanical service contractors don’t have a large enough staff or provide the continuity of service that Elliot-Lewis does,” said Smith. “With over 500 employees, including 100 service technicians with an average length of service to the company far in excess of the industry norm, we know we can deliver the response that PJM demands and relies on.” Elliott-Lewis maintains and services every piece of HVAC mechanical equipment at PJM’s facilities including chillers, boilers, cooling towers, Liebert computer room units and packaged rooftop units.
Because of the mission-critical nature of its work, PJM created a second Control Center in a remote location in 2008. Elliott-Lewis completed the HVAC and plumbing work on that second facility and services it as well. Once the new systems were installed in the second control center, PJM retained Elliott-Lewis to complete a total HVAC renovation of the main control center in Valley Forge in 2010.
“Maintaining the reliability of the electric power supply system is PJM’s most important mission,” said David B. Spangler, PJM’s Facilities Manager. “As the operator of North America’s largest power grid, we value strategic partners who are always ready, willing and able to response to our needs.”
For more about PJM, including a video on how their system operates,
visit www.pjm.com or view this video: