Happy Earth Day! Today, we are especially mindful of the work our team is doing to help businesses prepare for when Mother Nature is at her worst. Superstorm Sandy was a gamechanger with respect to consumer awareness of the need to build more resilient communities. This interest has driven demand for energy systems like Solar Grid Storage’s PowerFactor™ product that can provide emergency back-up power during a grid outage. On the one year anniversary of the historic storm, USA Today reported:
“Microgrids — once used mostly by colleges and hospitals — are now expanding to other facilities as the U.S. Department of Defense, businesses and local governments work to avoid the risks posed by extreme weather, expected to intensify with climate change-related power risks.”
Weather-related power outages are increasing in frequency. An analysis released earlier this month by Climate Central of the last 28 years of outage data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oﬃce of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and from the North American Electric Reliability Council reveals a stunning ten-fold increase in outages from 1984 to 2012. Importantly, the number of outages has doubled since 2003.
The analysis also ranked states by number of outages and highlights the fact that states in the territory of PJM Interconnection, Solar Grid Storage’s primary market, are leading the nation in power outages: seven of the top ten states are in PJM territory and accounted for 66% of the top ten states’ cumulative outages.
As the likelihood of grid disruptions increases, businesses are increasingly calling for emergency back-up power services. According to a 2013 survey of 1,000 facilities executives in the United States conducted by Building Operating Management and ASCO, 54% of respondents reported less than 25% of their facilities’ load is on emergency or backup power, and nearly 75% said they want more emergency back-up power for their load.
Solar Grid Storage has emerged as a leader in this sector, having successfully commissioned Maryland’s first commercial solar microgrid with Standard Solar on behalf of Konterra Realty in Laurel, MD. Konterra noted that Solar Grid Storage’s emergency backup power and “islanding” capability will be a compelling offer to consumers:
“We anticipate that this micro-grid prototype will encourage the development of similar facilities on surface lots and roof tops across the state and the nation.”