07/27/17 – MDI plugs in to new charging stations

Posted on: July 27th, 2017 by admin


July 27, 2017


In an effort to lower costs and pollution emissions, one of Caldwell County’s largest private employers is getting electrical outlets to power the refrigeration units on parked trucks at its distribution warehouse.


Duke Energy will install 36 outlets where the trucks park at Merchants Distributors Inc.’s warehouse, which is south of the Granite Falls Walmart, so the refrigerated trailers can plug in to stay cold between trips instead of keeping the trucks’ diesel engines idling, Duke and MDI announced Wednesday.


MDI, a wholesale grocery distributor that has more than 2,200 employees at the distribution center, ships products to about 600 stores, including refrigerated and frozen products.


The project is being funded by Duke as part of a $320,000 electrification project in North Carolina stemming from a 2015 settlement between Duke and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after the EPA accused the company of violating the Clean Air Act at some coal power stations in North Carolina, a Duke press release said. A similar project to install 24 outlets at Big Boy’s Truck Stop in Kenly, which is in Johnston County southeast of Raleigh, is expected to be running in August.


MDI projects that the electrical outlets will reduce its fuel use by 31,000 gallons a year, the press release said.


Kimberly George, the vice president of communications and corporate citizenship at MDI parent Alex Lee Inc., said she didn’t know the projected cost of the electricity but said is should be much less than the cost of diesel fuel it will replace.


Some of MDI’s trucks already have equipment to plug in to outlets, George said, while others will have to be modified.


Construction and installation, done by Shorepower Technologies, has already started and is expected to be complete in the fall.


By Virginia Annable, (Lenoir) News-Topic


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