Bloom Energy, a microgrid company, announces a new AlwaysON Microgrid solution with designed to make it easier and convenient for companies to protect themselves from extended grid power outages and escalating grid electricity rates, the company says.
Hundreds of thousands of electric utility customers have been left without power for days at a time this summer as heat waves, storms and wildfire risks have led to extended power outages in California, New York and elsewhere on the Atlantic coast. At the same time, 79 U.S. utilities filed requests to increase electricity rates during 2018, the largest number since 1983. — the company says, citing this report.
Bloom Energy is a provider of microgrid solutions with more than 85 microgrids already deployed. Collectively, those microgrids helped customers withstand more than 550 grid outages during 2018.
What is a microgrid?
A microgrid provides electric power and can operate independently of the main electrical grid indefinitely, Bloom Energy says.
“Microgrids are an emerging category of technology which have been cumbersome and complex to design and implement,” the company says in a press release.
“To reduce that complexity, Bloom Energy is now offering a simplified microgrid solution, comprised of a Bloom Energy Server with fully integrated energy storage and the microgrid components needed to power critical facility loads in the event of a grid power outage.”
The solution utilizes natural gas or directed biogas supplied through the highly reliable, existing underground pipeline system, making it less susceptible to the impacts of extreme weather, the company says.
AlwaysON Microgrid benefits – from Bloom Energy:
“Bloom Energy Servers generate electricity from natural gas, biogas or hydrogen without combustion through an electrochemical reaction.
“When operating on natural gas they generate up to 50 percent fewer CO2 emissions than grid power, and produce virtually no particulates and smog-forming emissions.
“With these sustainability attributes, customers no longer have to choose between sustainability and resiliency. Both can be optimized with the Bloom Energy microgrid solution.
“Bloom Energy has taken a further step to make microgrids more accessible to customers. Contracts for non-utility power typically have long commitments of 15 years or more.
“It can be challenging for customers to switch to alternative forms of power if they are uncertain whether they will still occupy the same property in years to come or their business planning does not stretch that long.
“Now, Bloom Energy is offering energy-as-a-service solutions with terms as short as five years, with no money down, substantially reducing customer commitments.”
The Bloom Energy AlwaysON microgrid solution is being introduced as the U.S. continues to see an escalation of power outages caused by extreme weather events.