There is a strong movement to decarbonize the grid, with certain markets and industries taking the lead. Replacing the old coal and gas facilities with renewables creates a need for grid stability services at a system and local level. The “electrification of everything” increases energy usage and puts additional strain on an already aging grid.
Microgrids address this challenge by locating local energy resources near the point of consumption. In the event of an emergency, power is provided locally to keep communities safe by ensuring critical infrastructure – hospitals, water facilities, grocery, distribution centers, and the like – remains up and running autonomously from the grid.
The stakes increase with the growing risk of disruption due to severe weather, physical and cyber attacks, and other unforeseen events.
According to a recent report from the American Society of Civil Engineers, in this decade the United States has seen a $135B investment gap for generation, $24.4B for transmission, and $48.8B for the distribution system.
The investment gap — the difference between investment trends and expected needs — contributes to a greater number of power interruptions. ASCE reports that from 2014 to 2019, 638 transmission-related outages were voluntarily reported by utilities.
Addressing a Growing Market Demand for Power Resiliency
The market is adapting to a new reality, as COVID has brought a new market awareness to low probability – high impact events. Crisis proofing for business resiliency includes ensuring power is always available, even during extended grid outages.
Enchanted Rock resiliency microgrids provide a path towards decarbonization, addressing both local resiliency and grid stability needs. Enchanted Rock systems can run independently in island mode for days to weeks, something renewables or diesel simply cannot do alone. Our managed microgrids integrate seamlessly with renewables and other existing technologies to optimize based on requirements for emissions, carbon footprint, and cost performance, and space available.
Because we run on gas internal combustion engines, we are more reliable and cleaner than the traditional diesel backup systems currently being used. We’re not stopping there either. We integrate load controls and behind the meter solar and use renewable natural gas to further decarbonize our offering. In addition, we are developing hybrid microgrids using battery energy storage to improve the economics of our solution.