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Energizing customers after hurricane Laura

Enabling the utility to rebuild properly

Client: JDEC (T&D)

Location: Southern Louisiana, USA

Sectors: Utilities

The Challenge

Improving grid resiliency without taking outages

The Jefferson Davis Electric Cooperative is a small T&D Cooperative in Southern Louisiana. 5 of their substations near the coastline were decimated after being hit by a hurricane, and the transmissions lines would need to be completely rebuilt.

The 5 substations affected were:

  • Venture Global
  • Johnson´s Bayou
  • Fulton
  • Michigan-Wisconsin
  • Grand Chenier

This provided the opportunity to harden and modernize the transmission systems, which would improve reliability for future storm events. So instead of rushing to rebuild, the utility looked at alternatives to keep their customers energized for approximately 6 months while they developed a more resilient grid system than before.

Due to the scope and scale of the transmission project, the utility would not have the ability to pay for such an undertaking, so they would require federal government assistance. To protect the taxpayer dollars, this project would need bids from multiple sources. Because Aggreko has vast experience in these types of projects, the cooperative asked us to provide guidance and grading of the potential bidders.

Through mutual consultation it was determined that the largest determining factors would be:

  1. Technical approach – experience of implementing and operating this type of project
  2. Total cost of operation
  3. The financial stability of potential future partners

Key Facts

Natural gas generation 44 MW
Diesel generation 3 MW
for distributed generation 5 Sites
Energizing customers after hurricane Laura

The Solution

47 MW of reliable energy powered by multiple fuels and technologies, reducing costs and emissions

Setting up 5 distributed generation sites, installed at distribution substations, would be the best solution.

Since Aggreko had the availability of multiple fuels and multiple technologies, we were able to provide a complete analysis and a temporary solution of 44.5 MW of natural gas generation and 3 MW of diesel generation, that would provide the best outcome for the utility, helping them reduce fuel costs and emissions.

With a power factor of 0.95 lagging and a voltage of 13.2 kV, the 5 sites were installed as follow:

  • Venture Global: 20.6 MW – Natural Gas
  • Johnson´s Bayou: 9.1 MW – Natural Gas
  • Fulton: 9.1 MW – Natural Gas
  • Michigan-Wisconsin: 5.2 MW – Natural Gas
  • Grand Chenier: 3 MW - Diesel

Also, protective devices were installed to operate like the utility and to ensure the protection of the distribution system and the customers it serves.

For all the Natural Gas-powered sites, Aggreko’s partners provided virtual pipeline gas (VPG) in a liquified state (LNG) at each one of them, and by using LNG we were able to reduce NOX emissions by 85%, CO emissions by 50% and CO2 emissions by 40%.

Visit the 5 sites through a virtual experience

We were able to help JDEC (T&D) reduce fuel costs and refueling rate and also lower total costs, a win for everyone.



The Impact

Providing the same protection as transmission power

It was evident to the utility that the other competitors on the bid understood their own technologies although; Aggreko’s experience, in running grid quality power projects would prove to be the most beneficial to ensure reliability of the system while lowering total operating costs of the project.

The intent of the project was to provide power at the same reliability or better than the grid. Aggreko’s Technical Services and Engineering (TSE) team was able to design a system that would provide the same protection as transmission power, by providing calibrated protective devices to keep the system up and running during transient faults or to protect the supply and distribution system during a real event.

Using LNG-driven reciprocating engines showed a significant advantage compared to turbines, by improving specific energy close to 75% in times of low loads, lowering the total fuel costs and reducing emissions.

LNG provided advantages for fuel security and lower total costs when compared to other VPG solutions.

LNG reduced the fuel cost by close to 10% and reduced the refueling rate by 44% during regular load profiles.


Energizing customers after hurricane Laura