Another solution is to turn to natural-gas-powered microgrids. That’s how Enchanted Rock managed to cover 97.3 percent of the outage-hours of its 200-plus Texas commercial and industrial customers over the course of February’s disaster, according to Allan Schurr, the company’s chief commercial officer.

Enchanted Rock started running its microgrids days before the crisis, not to back up customers but to bid their power reduction into the wholesale energy market of Texas grid operator ERCOT, he said. When ERCOT started to call on the state’s distribution utilities to black out portions of its grid to prevent a systemwide collapse, it switched over to emergency backup power operations.

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