A white paper from Enchanted Rock explores the costs of power outages, the value of reliable electricity, and how the concept of reliability-as-a-service can make microgrids affordable for data centers and other industries.

reliability-as-a-servce

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Natural disasters like wildfires are becoming an annual event in many places, just as hurricane season is getting longer and weather events more extreme in others. Add to this the threat of cyber attacks and, according Enchanted Rock, “more and more businesses and institutions have shown interest in microgrids and the enhanced electric reliability and power quality they provide.”

Cost and complexity, however, are often challenges that these business cannot overcome on their own. The white paper asserts that the reliability-as-a-service microgrid model is “a way to secure the benefits of a microgrid without the upfront costs or headaches of becoming a power plant developer, owner and operator.” The model is applicable to a number of industries, including data centers.

In the white paper, Enchanted Rock first discusses the real value of electric reliability to business operations – and the cost of avoiding those losses. They then explain what microgrids are, what drives their costs, and key benefits like islanding. They say, “a theme common to both basic and advanced microgrids is their ability to island, or disconnect, from the central grid and use their own energy assets to provide power to their customers.”

“Called “microgrid-as-a-service” or “reliability-as-a-service,” the model contracts with a third party that covers the project’s capital and operating costs in return for predictable service fees over time.” – Enchanted Rock, “The Affordable Microgrid: Securing Reliability through Outsourcing.”

Enchanted Rock goes on to say that reliability-as-a-service is a business model that’s growing in popularity because it provides energy reliability without the costs of hassle of running a microgrid. The authors go in depth on how the model works and how it makes microgrids affordable.

The paper goes on to explain why Enchanted Rock favors natural gas-fired microgrids over other generation sources as well as how wholesale markets can be leveraged to create affordable microgrids. The paper includes several real-world examples of how reliability-as-a-service microgrids have performed during extreme weather events.

Download the full report to learn more about how reliability-as-a-service makes microgrids affordable.

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