Paradigm Shift – The Affordability of Backup Power Generators

NOAA Satellite View of Kincade Fire

Kincade wildfire Sonoma, California – seen here by NOAA on Oct. 24, 2019 – grew to 10,000 acres overnight.

You need grid independence now and you can afford it

It is recommended that critical power facilities re-evaluate their backup power plans immediately and assess their ability to withstand multiple extended power outages and the need for a reliable backup power system.

What has changed the affordability of a backup generator?

• Power Outages Lasting Many Days and Depend on Weather Conditions

• Potential of Having Multiple Power Outage Events in One Year

• Significant Lost Revenue both in Spoilage and Human Resources

• Substantial Risk to Existing Sensitive Equipment

• Aging Grid and Lack of Grid Reliability

• High Cost of Insurance Claims in Affected Areas

Power Outages Lasting Many Days and Depend on Weather Conditions

Power utilities have determined outages are a necessary precaution considering the devastating effects of wildfires in recent history. The effects of power outages are impacting businesses and the workers who count on them for wages. During high wind weather events public safety power shutoffs will proactively happen with as short as two days notification. Only when weather conditions improve will the power be restored.

Potential of Having Multiple Power Outage Events in One Year

What will it cost your company to have back to back outages – either in lost revenue, business interruption or spoilage? Take a projection of that cost for multiple events over multiple years and you have a financial model to suggest an emergency standby generator.

Significant Lost Revenue both in Spoilage and Human Resources

Power shutoffs for safety do not come with reimbursement of loses.

‘A cool billion’: Economists estimate PG&E outages could have big impact.

The cost to business in this current fire season may take over a year to cascade through the economy. To be certain, there will be losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Substantial Additional Risk to Existing Sensitive Equipment

It might be one thing to replace a pump or compressor when a food processor has a refrigeration unit collapse but it is a completely different risk when a whole facility loses power. Previous risk taking by not having proper power protection on critical equipment will get renewed attention when you have two days notice from a power utility company that you will be out of power indefinitely.

Aging Grid and Lack of Grid Reliability

“Society has been delivering electricity the same way for 130 years — exposed lines on wood poles over dry grass,” said David Rabbitt, a county supervisor in Sonoma County from the LA Times

PG&E serves 16 million over 70,000 square miles of Central and Northern California. As of October 2019, the utility was only able to clear 31% of ambitious tree-trimming it planned in 2019. With state and federal funding, San Diego Gas and Electric took 10 years to implement improvements to bury lines, insulate or otherwise develop smaller microgrids.

Bottomline, with PG&E in bankruptcy the power distribution over power lines in wildfire prone areas will persist for many years to come.

Insurance Claims in Affected Areas

“PG&E does not reimburse customers for losses, as power will be shut off for safety due to extreme fire danger conditions,” PG&E spokeswoman Andrea Menniti told SFGATE.

Multiple business income insurance claims may only serve to escalate a deductible, if the claim is covered at all. The fine print on policies very likely are not written to cover planned outages that originate from a weather event somewhere else. Civil authority coverage only applies when law enforcement closes access to the business.

Considering that one area could have multiple events over the course of season, it seems clear that insurance policies are not going to cover this situation. Add that outages will continue for many years, insurance companies are going to reject these claims or the policy will become unaffordable. Backup power is the only method to keep a business operational and avoid insurance claims.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, “90% of small businesses fail within a year after a sudden closure such as a disaster if they can’t reopen in five days.”

Hipower Generators for Backup Power

New Hipower Mobile Diesel Generator

Global Power Supply provides flexible options for your backup power project. Our project management team manages all phases of the project. We can address your needs for project specific priorities such as budget constraints, delivery requirements, technical performance, space limitations and service options so you can focus on your business.

Example Project Milestones:

• Site Surveys

• Design and Engineering

• Provide ATS, Wiring and Conduit

• On-Site Construction

• Delivery, Offload, Install

• Fueling and Startup

• Preventative Maintenance

• Remote Monitoring

Protect your business from power loss by creating a well-designed and reliable backup power solution from GPS.

Call or chat with us for detailed specifications, budgetary pricing, and quick quotes.