Puerto Rico-Based Fortune 500 Company Banks on Reliable Power for a New Microgrid

On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, Fairbanks Morse announced that it has delivered its PoweReliability-as-a-Service platform to a Fortune 500 company in Puerto Rico. The installation provides a dual fuel combined heat and power (CHP) microgrid with approximately 10 megawatts of capacity.

The system includes advanced software and condition-based maintenance support so power generation can be monitored in real time to deliver on specified fuel and reliability guarantees. The two fuels the system will run on are natural gas and diesel but because it is an open platform, Fairbanks Morse said it can be customized to include the additional integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar, wind or energy storage in the future.

“Access to reliable power is critical for individuals, communities, and businesses, but the aftermath of Hurricanes Maria and Irma has shown that new distributed energy strategies need to be implemented that complement — and in many cases even replace — the traditional grid infrastructure,” said David Santamaria, Fairbanks Morse vice president of services and support.

Nine of the 12 most expensive storms in U.S. history happened in the last three years and decentralized generation, independent power production, and microgrids are seen as the enablers needed to drive reliable power in the new energy economy. As a result, Navigant Research estimates that annual distributed generation capacity additions will outpace centralized generation three-fold by 2024.

Related: Storm-Ravaged Caribbean Is Eyeing Solar, But It Won’t Come Cheap

“Independent power producers and commercial and industrial businesses can integrate reciprocating engines with the DERs of their choosing to operate as a fully independent microgrid or, where available, participate in ancillary market services to sell power back to the grid,” said Adam Forni, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. 

“This type of solution is a growing trend and can aid in the recovery of power in the aftermath of Hurricanes Maria and Irma and help protect businesses and communities against future power outages.”

Image: Fairbanks Morse tweeted photo of equipment on its way to a Fortune 500 company in Puerto Rico. Credit: @FairbanksMore

 

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