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Resiliency in the Eye of the Hurricane

June 1st marks the start of hurricane season, with NOAA forecasting between 12 and 17 named storms this year. From Texas around the Gulf, through Florida, and up toward Maine, coastal communities are preparing for major storms and the damage they may bring through November.

Unfortunately, residents outside those communities likely won’t get off scot-free either; the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) anticipates that two-thirds of the country is at risk of rolling blackouts over this summer season. Backup power will be essential for residents to remain resilient in the face of severe storms and other extreme weather over the coming months – and Generac Grid Services is on standby to support.

Energy Alliance Program

Generac’s Energy Alliance Program (EAP) is a partnership opportunity made available to munis, co-ops and IOUs that enables them to access premium product pricing and customer support, and that creates the opportunity to provide value-added services to end customers. Three flavors of the program allow utility partners to offer their customers an enhanced experience in the procurement and ownership of backup power and other distributed energy resource products.

Marketing Partners – gain access to educational materials to teach their members or customers about the resiliency and energy management benefits of Generac products
Equipment Partners – receive preferred pricing by purchasing equipment directly from Generac and gain access to the company’s network of almost 10,000 dealers
Lifecycle Partners – leverage all the abovementioned benefits while adding in installation and ongoing maintenance services to increase the value of the products for customers

Generac Grid Services then works with these partners to identify and operationalize monetization opportunities for backup power devices to provide support to the grid and reduce the total cost of ownership for purchasers. Devices always serve their primary purpose of resiliency first but have the opportunity to earn revenue for use outside of outage hours.

Grid Resiliency as a Service

With a growing Smart Grid Ready install base, utilities of all sizes can take advantage of the capacity often sitting idle within their territories and help their members and customers unlock monetization solutions. By engaging customers to agree to provide capacity when the grid is experiencing strain, energy companies will be able to create an additional defensive layer between normal operations and rolling blackouts. Generac Grid Services will work with grid operators to identify program parameters that will maintain participant satisfaction while providing real reliability value to the broader customer base.

The need to maintain customer satisfaction, however, remains paramount. Thus, utilities must identify the pros and cons of calling on distinct resource types in each situation. For example, grid operators should avoid drawing down backup sources like stored battery energy before a storm or another severe weather event. However, batteries make great daily dispatch options to reduce system peaks absent severe weather. On the flip side, standby generation engines’ noise can be somewhat disruptive. Therefore, rather than calling on generators for daily dispatch, these devices should be leveraged as emergency capacity sources.

It’s Not Too Late

Though hurricane season is officially in full swing, it’s not too late to bring resiliency solutions to your territory with Generac. The Energy Alliance Program sign-up is simple and free of charge, so you can start reaping the rewards for your members and customers immediately.

Additionally, unlike in previous seasons, Generac Grid Services has backup power products stocked and ready to ship to the communities that need them most. Purchase trends of Generac products tend to spike following an extreme weather event. Pairing Energy Alliance Program benefits with short time-to-installation will help customers proactively ensure that their households keep access to the electricity they need most during an outage.

Jonathan ‘J.T.’ Thompson
SVP, Sales, Generac Grid Services