Microgrids Are Revolutionizing Our Dependence On Utility Power
Microgrids are a growing segment of the energy industry that companies and small communities are utilizing to harness a reliable power source 24/7/365. Microgrids are localized power grids with independent power sources and load points that can connect or disconnect from the traditional grid. Because they can operate while the main grid is down, microgrids are helping to minimize downtime for companies and prevent community-wide outages in remote areas such as West Texas.
Microgrid protection can be a lifeline for companies working on projects in isolated areas. The typical oilfield covers many square miles, involving many different sites that are often situated far from reliable grid power. For oilfield companies, microgrids can provide power exactly where it’s needed for drilling operations without having to wait for utility companies to expand their grids. Microgrids allow oilfield companies to be energy independent and therefore not susceptible to mass outages during severe weather or any other disturbances utility power can experience. During such outages, utility companies prioritize densely populated areas, so it could be weeks before utility power is restored in more remote locations.
Power availability and reliability is a major concern for oilfield companies. In the remote shale plays across West Texas where utility power is sparse, microgrids offer a reliable power supply solution for remote locations. Also, oilfield and fracking companies have a unique advantage in that they produce their own generator fuel. Natural gas produced during oil extraction fuel can be scrubbed, which means removing traces of liquid so that it can be used as fuel for the natural gas generators that make up a microgrid. This byproduct which is normally burned off as waste is now put to work greatly reducing fuel costs.
Microgrids also provide a viable option as an emergency backup power source for small towns, urban centers, university or corporate campuses, medical centers, or data centers. These microgrids can run in parallel with the main utility grid when utility power is available. When necessary, these microgrids can separate themselves from the main grid. The localized power created by generators powers these communities and campuses when severe weather strikes and causes a mass outage. When utility power returns, the microgrid is returned to standby mode.
Total Energy Solutions can design a microgrid for your exact needs whether it’s for an oilfield drilling project or for a small community or campus in need of reliable power. Our microgrid power plants take natural gas generators, state of the art power distribution equipment, and battery storage to deliver flexible, reliable, high-quality power where you need it most. We do it all at a competitive rate that is comparable to grid-connected utility power.
To learn more about our microgrid solutions, contact the power generation experts at Total Energy Solutions.