PPL Corp. plans to build a 115,000-square-foot data and operations center in Upper Macungie Township that will provide long-term benefits for both the company and its customers.
The center, a major new investment in the Lehigh Valley, will be located on 12 acres near Route 100 and Interstate 78, about 10 miles west of the corporation's international headquarters in center-city Allentown.
Pending land development approval from the township and necessary permits, PPL plans to begin construction this fall and complete work in late 2012. The center eventually will house 125 to 150 employees, most of whom currently work in other facilities in the region.
The facility's next-generation data center is expected to meet corporate needs for the next several decades. The operations component, to be used by PPL Electric Utilities, will combine existing transmission and distribution operations centers in the Allentown and Harrisburg areas and host the utility's new emergency response center.
"Upgrading data operations will make us more efficient and will improve service to electric customers," said William H. Spence, PPL's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "This will be a cutting-edge electric system operations center, using the latest technology to help ensure continued safe and reliable service for the 1.4 million customers of PPL Electric Utilities."
The building will be ENERGY STAR-rated, meaning it will be built according to high energy efficiency standards. This is in addition to compliance to the new Building Energy Codes, which took effect in 2009.
Robert E. Lamb Inc., of Valley Forge, Pa., will provide planning, design and construction support services. Skanska USA Building, Inc. will perform construction management and general contracting for the project.
PPL Electric Utilities provides electric delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States.