Lower Swatara Township-based Phoenix Contact USA, which is wrapping up a major expansion of its Fulling Mill Road campus, will ceremonially disconnect from the electric grid Tuesday in celebration of Earth Day.
The electronic components manufacturer and subsidiary of German company Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. will unveil its new combined cooling, heating and power system, or CCHP.
The natural-gas, fixed microturbine system cost $3.2 million and will generate up to 1 megawatt of electricity. That is enough to power the company's U.S. headquarters about 65 percent of the time, said Molly McGowan, a Phoenix spokeswoman.
It also will heat and cool the facility independent of external sources. The system is driven by the thermal dynamics of the facility. As the turbines generate energy, they vent the heat exhaust byproduct through either the building's natural-gas chiller or the heat exchange to regulate chilled and hot water supplies.
The entire expansion at Phoenix Contact, which added about 125,000 square feet to its 235,000-square-foot facility, cost $18 million, McGowan said. The company makes connectors and other components for industrial machinery.
"The major work is all complete, but we are just tying up some loose ends and construction punch-list items," she said.
Phoenix Contact employs 522 people locally and 678 in total, McGowan said. The company has added more than 200 local employees since 2011; more than 260 overall. Most of that growth occurred in 2011 and 2012.