Enchanted Rock has developed a 3.5-MW microgrid to provide resiliency for a butene manufacturing plant in Baytown, Texas.
“The Enchanted Rock managed power resiliency solution will protect operations during power grid outages, which is especially critical in the Gulf Coast region with hurricane season and severe storms,” John Gould, Enchanted Rock chief revenue officer, said May 11.
The microgrid, which was completed in March, covers the Raven ethylene-to-butene-1 processing plant owned by Arcanum Infrastructure.
The project, which uses natural gas-fueled generators to provide power to the microgrid, is part of Enchanted Rock’s expansion into the high-value manufacturing segment, Gould said, noting that power disruptions can cause major product loss and long plant recovery time for manufacturers.
Houston-based Enchanted Rock will manage the microgrid under a resiliency-as-a-service model it calls Integrated Reliability on Call. Under the model, when the backup generation isn’t needed, Enchanted Rock will sell power from the generators into the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas’ wholesale power markets to earn revenue, which reduces customer costs.
Enchanted Rock has about 200 microgrids totaling about 463 MW, according to the company.
When it was exploring its options to bolster reliability at the Raven plant, Arcanum Infrastructure wanted a more reliable alternative to diesel generators, according to Nicholas Stewart, the plant’s general manager.
Microgrid offers security after Texas grid failures
“The harrowing days of this year’s winter storm in Texas reinforced why a resiliency strategy is critical,” Stewart said. “Now that our microgrid is in place, we’ll sleep much better knowing we are protected ahead of the next big outage event.”
In mid-February during a winter storm, millions of utility customers in Texas lost their power, some for up to a week, when power plants across the state were knocked offline amid unusually low temperatures.
Last summer, Enchanted Rock microgrids helped dozens of customers in Texas get through a hurricane without losing power.
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