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Raging heat waves, crippling ice storms, devastating drought—extreme weather has continued to accelerate in the past decade, claiming lives and causing untold devastation. Just halfway through 2024 alone, the United States experienced seven confirmed weather-related disasters with losses that exceeded $1 billion. 

With the increasing number of weather disasters, homes and businesses rely on uninterrupted electricity and natural gas more than ever to accommodate their daily needs and take the brunt of emergency situations as they occur. Utility companies need backup or standby power sources to meet needs during peak demand, electricity gaps, off-grid power needs, and outages.  

During these critical times, temporary power solutions provide robust services and benefits to the most vulnerable. This white paper will delve into the crucial advantages of mobile power solutions and their evolving pivotal role in the ever-growing energy requirements of the utility sector. Read on to explore utilities’ key challenges and learn the advantages of partnering with a temporary power provider. 

Challenges faced by utility companies

Utility’s chief role in distributing power to businesses and homes is ensuring reliable and continuous supply to meet electricity demands. To meet these demands, utility companies must manage the essential infrastructure and systems to generate, transmit, and distribute power efficiently. However, these responsibilities come with significant challenges. 

Peaking Demand. Energy demands vary throughout the day, season, and year. Peak times, such as during severe heat waves or ice storms, require high demand, while other times, such as in the middle of the night during relatively normal weather, the demand is low. Balancing these surges in demand requires a sophisticated, real-time understanding of usage patterns. During peak demand periods, utility companies need to be able to meet surging needs. 

To meet this demand, utilities must have “peaker” plants that they can bring online quickly for peak demand. Building and maintaining peaker plants can be economically inefficient because they are used infrequently. 

Grid Stability. Maintaining electrical grid stability is another significant challenge. Electrical power needs to be generated and used in real time. The delicate balance between supply and demand must be maintained to prevent power outages. This balance can be especially challenging with renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, which can be intermittent and variable.  

Upgrading infrastructure. Much of the existing electrical grid infrastructure in many parts of the world is aging and needs upgrades or replacement, including power plants, transmission lines, substations, and transformers. However, upgrading this infrastructure can be costly and complex. 

Modernizing the grid means more than just replacing old equipment. Utilities must integrate new technologies, like smart meters, distributed generation systems (like rooftop solar panels), and advanced communication systems. These upgrades improve grid reliability and resilience but require significant planning and investment. 

These challenges mean utility companies must think strategically about their investments and operations. They must also collaborate with technology providers, customers, and other stakeholders to develop and implement effective solutions. 

The Benefits of Temporary Power Solutions

With the numerous challenges utilities face, they often need to rely on third parties to help during severe weather and times of crisis. Temporary power solutions provide cost-effective, customized solutions to keep the power supply running for your customers. Plus, temporary power equipment supports a wide range of megawatts (MW) to generate as much or as little power as needed. 

Advantages of partnering with temporary power solutions company

The right temporary power solutions company can provide valuable benefits to overcome the challenges of severe weather: 

Quick Mobilization. Temporary power companies excel in their fast response to emergency situations, like power outages or equipment failures. Securing a trusted partner ensures rapid backup power deployment to minimize downtime and restore power quickly. This all helps mitigate the impact on business operations and end-users. 

Uninterrupted, Continuous Power Supply. Temporary power bridges critical power gaps. It ensures businesses and homes have continuous supply and meets their expectations. 

Fuel Efficient, Low Emissions. Many temporary power solutions providers offer natural gas units equipped with advanced technologies, such as clean-burning engines, to minimize the carbon footprint and reduce environmental impact. 

Flexibility. Temporary power solutions companies customize their solutions to meet each utility company’s specific requirements on a global scale. With various generator sizes, power capacities, and fuel options, these solutions scale and adapt to changing demand without significantly impacting infrastructure. 

24/7 Availability and Support. These companies offer around-the-clock support with expert teams ready to address any technical issues, monitor power systems, and deploy technicians for maintenance as needed in real-time. 

While the advantages of a temporary power supply company are significant, it’s important to emphasize that they’re only achievable through an experienced and qualified power solutions provider. Selecting a reputable provider is crucial to get the right service for your business. 

Preparing for severe weather and summer peaking with temporary power solutions

t’s no longer possible to put off planning for severe weather: it’s only continuing to grow globally. With El Niño forecasted to last through the first half of 2024, many experts expect that it could set off new temperature records. Communities and utility companies need to prepare now to be ready for whatever comes. 

Severe weather and summer peaking pose several threats to the utility market. For example, increased electricity usage for cooling purposes driving surges in demand, damage to utility infrastructure from hurricanes or tornadoes, brownouts or blackouts, and reputational risks if there is a sluggish response and power restoration can all spell trouble for utility companies. However, temporary power solution providers help to mitigate these risks. 

Choose the right provider

As mentioned earlier, not everyone provides the right temporary power solution. A qualified partner must possess in-depth knowledge of utility operations, understand specific power requirements, and provide a proven track record of delivering reliable and efficient solutions. The right provider will bring expertise in generator deployment, maintenance, fuel management, and emissions control to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations. 

Distributed Power Solutions (DPS) provides turnkey engineered power generation rental solutions that utilize natural gas as its primary fuel source. DPS provides reciprocating engine generators, gas turbine generators, and electrical distribution equipment to support the utility industry. 

With the highest power efficiency available, DPS saves customers money on the fuel required to power operations. This helps reduce operations costs, so companies drive higher power outputs with less fuel. In addition, to be fuel-efficient, the startup process is fast and easy. DPS offers rapid equipment deployment, the balance of the plant, including transformers and transfer switches (when necessary), and can assist with engineering, operation, and maintenance. If customers have access to a fuel supply, DPS can set up the basic equipment and be operational immediately. 

Our gas turbines are well equipped with the latest dry low emission (DLE) combustion system technology, which helps reduce the number of harmful pollutants released into the air during the combustion process. It allows your project to achieve lower emissions without reducing the combustion temperature. As a result, it performs a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly operation when compared to traditional generators. 

Not every energy partner is the same. It’s critical to consider the following when choosing the right power solutions partner

Look for a reputable power solutions company that is knowledgeable about the industry and has the speed and range of equipment readily available to customers. Those with the right experience and technical experience will get operations up and running quickly while ensuring reliability, availability, and lower production costs. In addition, round-the-clock support is critical so that there is no downtime. 

Case study: Emergency power in one week

The benefits of an experienced local power solutions provider were powerfully demonstrated when DPS responded in the wake of Hurricane Laura. 

When the natural disaster cut off power to half a million customers on the Gulf Coast, the entire electrical grid became unstable, and a backup power source became necessary while technicians worked on repairing the storm damage. The region’s primary utility provider announced that it was the most challenging restoration they faced, and it would likely take weeks to restore power. 

The next day, construction services and electrical engineering company Saber Power met with DPS to find a temporary power solution for one of their key customers, Energy Transfer. The organization needed 40MW to power their facility, but their utility provider could only temporarily allocate 8MW. 

With only 24-hour’s notice, DPS immediately got to work. With its strong history as a first responder, the company was experienced in providing support in stressful situations. It ensured that the equipment was serviced and ready and even made the financial decision to secure trucks to ensure they could service at a moment’s notice.  

As soon as Energy Transfer greenlighted the plans, DPS was ready to head towards them within an hour’s notice. Within 24 hours, more than 30 trucks were at the site and prepared to work. Working alongside Energy Transfer and Saber, DPS worked diligently to set up cables, trays, piping, and electrical interconnections. Because of their experience and preparation, the extensive team met each unforeseen challenge to finish the job as quickly as possible. DPS completed the job within six days of getting the green light. 

As a power solutions provider, DPS has a long history of helping companies in dire situations. The team knows how to rise to the occasion and provide critical power during natural disasters and has the experience to guide companies in making plans. 

Remaining connected during peak seasons

The reliability of power supply is critical, especially during severe weather events and periods of peak season demand. A stable power supply is essential not only for residential comfort but maintaining vital services, such as healthcare, emergency response, and industrial operations. However, utility companies face a range of challenges in meeting these demands. 

Partnering with a temporary power solutions provider like DPS can be a strategic move. DPS and similar experienced companies offer scalable and flexible solutions for managing power during peak periods and emergencies. They provide the additional capacity utility companies need to cope with increased demand. These partnerships contribute to grid stability by providing reliable, on-demand power and filling the gap while utilities recover from severe weather events. Contact DPS for a solution today! 

Planning and preparedness are crucial to ensuring a reliable power supply during severe weather and peak demand periods. Utility companies should assess their capacity and vulnerabilities, consider strategic partnerships with power rental solutions providers, and invest in infrastructure upgrades and renewable energy integration. By working with regulators, technology providers, and customers, they can develop innovative and sustainable solutions. As we move towards a future likely to bring more extreme weather and higher power demands, these proactive steps will be more critical than ever. 

This post appeared first on Power Engineering.