PowerSecure Describes the Value of Resiliency & Reliability in Today’s Energy Market

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Elisa Wood, editor-in-chief of Microgrid Knowledge, and Jim Smith, COO of PowerSecure, a Southern Company subsidiary, took time out at Microgrid Global 2020 to discuss how a year of hurricanes and wildfires revealed the value of energy resiliency. 

Resiliency was the key topic of a recent conversation between Wood and Smith.

Smith began by noting the energy resiliency problems that natural disasters create on the US Gulf Coast.

“When you talk about resiliency with the storms and what’s happening in the gulf; for me, a perfect example is we had one customer that has operated their microgrid three times during the gulf storms Aurora, Sally and Delta,” Smith said.

During one of those outages, Smith noted, a grocery store relied on its PowerSecure microgrid for 21 consecutive days as it waited for utility power to be restored.

Microgrid Knowledge leader Wood asked, “Do your clients understand the monetary value of energy resilience?” 

Follow Executive Interviews from Microgrid 2020 Global, published regularly on Microgrid Knowledge.

Smith said that customers have become more sophisticated about calculating the value of resiliency, but the “realization” tends to vary by industry segment.

“When you talk about mission-critical hospitals, certain industrials, the beverage market; they obviously know and have calculated this — they have figured out how important resilience is.

“They know what the loss is to them,” he said. 

In the West, wildfires — one of the biggest stories surrounding microgrids in 2020 — have opened the eyes of many customers, Smith added.

California’s public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) also have heightened customer concern, according to Smith.

“We see PSPS events on the West Coast. They’ve resulted in multiple days of outages, and it presented a whole new set of challenges for customers out there.” 

Ultimately, the length and duration of  these power outages has increased interest in microgrids across industries, creating an expanding market for PowerSecure,

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