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Siemens Energy Expanding N.C. Facility for New, Refurbished Large Transformers

Siemens Energy is expanding its operations in Charlotte, N.C., with a large power transformer manufacturing and service facility, it said on Feb. 15.

This will be Siemens Energy’s first power transformer manufacturing and refurbishment facility in the U.S.

Siemens Energy’s $150 million investment will lead to the production of 24 new large power transformers initially, and ultimately increase to 57 units per year when the plant begins operating at full capacity.

Additionally, the facility is planned to start with 12 units of repair and refurbishment service per year, eventually increasing to 24 units at full capacity.

With the combined effort, the factory and service facility will be able to deliver 81 new production and service units at full load annually.

According to a 2023 Government Accountability Officer report regarding efforts the Department of Energy (DOE) could do to help domestic transformer reserves, over 80 percent of large power transformers (LPT) were imported.

An LPT is a critical component that pulls electricity off the bulk electric power generation and transmission grid.

As far back as a 2012, when a report titled “Large Power Transformers and the U.S. Electric Grid” was issued, DOE has been identifying issues related to the domestic procurement of LPTs, historical trends and future demands, and risks facing LPTs.

The American Public Power Association has taken a number of actions at the federal level to address the ongoing transformer supply shortages facing the power sector.

APPA supports federal legislation that would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to limit increases to federal efficiency standards for specific distribution transformers.

The legislation would amend EPCA to prohibit the Department of Energy from finalizing any energy efficiency standards for liquid-immersed type, low voltage dry type, or medium voltage dry type distribution transformers that are greater than a trial standard level 2 (TSL 2). It also would require that those changes not take effect until 10 years after the standard is finalized.

This legislative effort comes in response to DOE's January 2023 notice of proposed rulemaking to set new energy efficiency standards for distribution transformers.

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