The recent hurricane tragedies in both Texas and Florida remind us how fragile our energy infrastructure can be and important it is to be prepared in times of power outages. Many Florida businesses are still struggling due to loss of power from Irma and according to Austin Energy, Hurricane Harvey left more than a quarter-million customers without power in Texas.
Power outages are becoming more frequent and severe weather can take down entire sections of the U.S. power grid. Extended outages can be a major source of financial loss. The time to be prepared is BEFORE an emergency and businesses need to get a backup power plan in place.
Facilities must be proactive and Distributed Generation (“DG”) technologies like dual fuel generators are a must to help prevent power outages. In addition, renewable energy systems such as wind, solar, and fuel cells combined with battery storage systems can be used in conjunction with emergency power generators as a part of a total backup power solution to ensure that power options are available, no matter what is happening to the grid.
Do you have an emergency backup power plan?
If you do not have a backup power solution in place, here are some tips:
• A natural gas or dual fuel backup power generator is large enough to power up your most important systems.
• Don’t rely solely on your uninterruptible power system (UPS) and ensure you have an automatic transfer switch (ATS) which will help monitor your utility power and turn the generator off when power is restored.
• Functional load testing is an important part of being sure that your backup power system is going to work when it’s needed.
• Have a fuel storage plan in place since natural gas lines could be down or if delivery trucks are unable to get to your facility.
• Consider solar combined with battery storage to help supplement power when the grid is down. It is essential for businesses to prepare an emergency back power plan using utilizing both power generators and renewable alternatives that will allow operations to continue in the event of hurricanes, severe storms, high winds, flooding, brownouts, blackouts and terrorist attacks.