Portable medium voltage generation equipment helps electric utilities maintain service during planned and unplanned outages.
Any interruption of power to a utility customer can result in higher CAIDI, SAIDI and SAIFI scores. Keeping those scores low is increasingly challenging for electric utilities as base load plants are retired, data centers and crypto currency mining operations demand more and more power, and the nation undergoes one of the largest electrical infrastructure change-outs of all time.
Planning ahead is critical to shortening or avoiding outages, and that includes planning for temporary power generation needs.
While you can’t control wildfires or hurricanes or eliminate the need to upgrade a power line or substation, you can secure portable temporary power to speed your response to outages or eliminate them altogether.
Be prepared with medium voltage mobile packages
A mobile power solution such as a medium voltage mobile package from United Rentals can help you maintain consistent service throughout planned and unplanned outages.
“United Rentals’ mobile power solution is improving the CAIDI score for electric utilities by utilizing medium voltage generation to shorten the ETR for unplanned power outages, resulting in a lower SAIDI score, and eliminating the entire power outage for planned work, resulting in a lower SAIDI and SAIFI score,” said Eric Bateman, a regional product development manager with the Power and HVAC group.
Mobile power for primary generation
Planning a capacitor bank change-out or some other infrastructure upgrade or performing planned maintenance? You can deploy a primary generation mobile solution on the low side of your substation to pick up the load and avoid an outage while the work is completed. The solution includes a generator, transformers and switch gear along with safety protection.
“United Rentals’ mobile power solution is improving the CAIDI score for electric utilities by utilizing medium voltage generation to shorten the ETR for unplanned power outages, resulting in a lower SAIDI score, and eliminate the entire power outage for planned work, resulting in a lower SAIDI and SAIFI score,” said Eric Bateman, a regional product development manager with the Power and HVAC group.
Mobile power for secondary generation
Need secondary power generation to support critical infrastructure during emergency events? United Rentals can put generator packages in place in anticipation of these events or quickly install them after the fact to provide critical load to individual customers.
“We go behind the meter on behalf of the utility to provide low load, plug-and-play power, and all the necessary protections, to support hospitals, financial institutions, gas stations and other essential services,” Bateman explained.
Plan ahead for the capacity reserves you need
Just as you earmark fleet in the beginning of the year to respond to fires, storms or other natural disasters, reserving utility-grade power generation capacity ahead of time for planned and unplanned events is critical. It allows utilities to reduce or eliminate service interruptions and keep CAIDI scores, and the scores that roll up into them, low.
In the event there’s an unplanned loss of power, having the right portable power resources on hand to deploy to critical areas and substations for primary generation can reduce the duration of interruptions, lowering SAIDI scores. In addition, said Bateman, “If you have the mobile generation assets in place, you could potentially turn that on, and that levels out the frequency by which these blackouts or brownouts would happen on the line,” lowering SAIFI scores.
Similarly, outfitting the fleet you’ve designated for secondary generation with medium voltage generation assets will help you keep the power flowing to critical facilities during an emergency.
Determining and securing capacity reserves
United Rentals can assist in assessing your mobile power needs so you can be confident you have the right generation, connection and protection equipment on hand when you need it.
While there is a cost associated with putting backup power resources in place in advance, customers may be willing to pay more for system reliability it provides. They may agree to rate increases if the funds go toward keeping the lights on and the internet working, or getting the power back on sooner after a storm or a fire.
“Ninety percent of the success of this approach is in the pre-planning,” said Bateman. “We know there will be emergencies, but we don’t know when they are going to happen. So power companies need to reserve capacity for these outages. United Rentals is ready to assist in making sure they have the mobile power generation solutions they will need, whenever they need them.”
Working with a knowledgeable PHVAC equipment vendor to secure adequate capacity reserves can lead to increased reliability, better CAIDI, SAIDI and SAIFI scores, and happier customers.