- Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 12:14
- Published on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:13
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Northern Neck Electric Coop-erative (NNEC) has entered into an option to purchase 40 acres of land in Warsaw situated between Hamilton Boulevard and the Route 3 Bypass. The option is contingent upon the land being rezoned to accommodate NNEC’s facilities and upon the conclusions of the engineering assessment and environmental impact studies for the site’s feasibility.
NNEC was considering additional land acquisition prior to the economic downturn of 2009, but put those plans on hold. Now, with the economy beginning to show improvement, the cooperative has reinstituted that process. There is a two-fold reason for the cooperative acquiring additional land. Primarily, NNEC does not have the room to carry out its operations properly due to the very limited space at the existing property. Electric utility equipment has evolved over the years from rather simple modified pickup trucks to line trucks and bucket trucks costing in excess of $200,000. Most utilities keep these vehicles and other expensive equipment under covered bays to extend their life and make for easy access by crews in all types of weather. The limited acreage NNEC currently owns does not allow for construction of these bays and is a very congested area in the morning and evening as the crews move through the yard.
Secondarily, NNEC needs a much larger area to assemble the outside crews it brings in for major storms such as Hurricane Irene or extreme winter blizzards. To decrease the amount of time members are without power following a major storm, the cooperative has steadily increased the number of outside forces brought in to help with its outage restoration. During the next major storm, NNEC expects to bring in up to eight times the number of people it normally uses to run its outside operations.
“The availability and proximity of the land make this purchase an excellent opportunity for NNEC’s vision for the future,” Greg White, NNEC President & CEO remarked. “This site will allow us to establish a much more effective area for our current operational crews, and together with our existing site, will allow us to handle the massive outside forces we bring in for a major outage event.” “NNEC has operated its system from Warsaw for 75 years and we anticipate that this land acquisition will allow us to operate from here for at least another 75 years.”
It is anticipated that the warehouse, garage, pole storage area and the operational staff will be moved to the new site over the next few years with the remaining staff working out of the relatively new building on St. Johns Street for many years to come.