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A sustainable solution for emergency power

A sustainable solution for emergency power

Client: Residential and commercial utilities provider

Location: Foresthill, California, USA

Sectors: Utilities

The Challenge

Emergency power supply with reduced climate impact

Around the world, disasters caused by climate change are upending communities and wreaking havoc on utilities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in California, where wildfires have cost the state between $70-90 billion in damages – and one-eighth of its acreage. The company – the state’s leading commercial and residential utilities provider – faced an increasingly common task: supplying emergency power to impacted neighborhoods. But this created an even bigger problem. How can a utilities provider meet emergency power needs without contributing to the root cause of the emergency? How can it balance immediate needs caused by climate change with long-term net zero goals? The answer – by reaching out to Aggreko, a long-standing trusted partner.

Key Facts

Diesel generators provided 3 x 200 kW
Solar-charged battery 1 MW
Reduction in emissions and fuel consumption ~ 20%
A sustainable solution for emergency power

The Solution

An energy-efficient generator system

Aggreko’s process engineers developed a simple hybrid generator-battery system comprising three 200 kW diesel generators and a 1 MWh battery that received its charge from an existing solar array on the grid. The goal of the project was to reduce diesel consumption of the redundant generator by utilizing stored solar energy in its place. Two active generators would provide ample temporary power for most situations. While a third generator, left on standby, would both provide redundancy and balance load sharing while the battery charged. This allowed the system to run smoothly at all times without sacrificing efficiency or redundancy. Most notably, it drastically reduced diesel use and emissions in comparison to traditional emergency power systems. We piloted the system in the company’s wildfire prevention program for the power project in Foresthill, California.

The Impact

Emergency power with 20% less emissions

The pilot program was a great success. The utilities company had a go-to temporary power solution that would reduce diesel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20%. And with Aggreko at their side, Keeping the lights on would be quick and easy. The pilot program proved that utilities companies do not have to forego environmental friendliness when responding to energy emergencies. And that an efficient temporary power system plays a part in reducing the impact of climate change today and tomorrow. While wildfires are one of the biggest concerns in California, its diverse ecology makes it susceptible to a range of climate related emergencies. But with Aggreko, this utilities company has an energy solution that can deal with all of them.

A sustainable solution for emergency power