Generac to Offer Low Emissions, Smaller ExpensesBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 07/08/2021 - 08:44
Distributed generation (DG) produces electricity on a small scale and connects at almost any point in an electrical system, said Fernando Velasco González, a mechanical-electrical engineer who has experience in the implementation of comprehensive energy efficiency solutions at Generac Mexico’s webinar held on May 13.
However, a near-constant loss of energy in transmission and distribution is a global problem, added Velasco González, with Mexico losing approximately 17 percent of its power generation. Distributed generation can help avoid this problem and the costs that come with it. Even though the webinar mentioned that DG can be any type of energy generation, it focused on, four main types of power production. The first possibility uses diesel and fuel oil. Mostly used on the utility scale by CFE, this kind of fuel allows for 24/7 power production while needing little space. However, it has the downsides of being expensive and highly polluting. The second is wind, which entails constructing rather expensive systems if used on a DG-scale that furthermore depends on specific weather conditions, but does offers renewable energy. The third main factor in DG is solar energy, which has a high penetration in the global energy mix and is renewable as well. However, it also has some downsides: it also depends on sunny weather conditions and occupies a significant amount of space. Finally, natural gas is becoming increasingly available, at more accessible costs. Its emissions are relatively low, power production is available 24/7 and DG-based power plants do not require much space.
Generac aims to create an open and non-discriminatory access to the grid and to electricity markets to sell energy. To accomplish this, the company highlights the possibility to become a so-called exempt generator. As an exempt generator, no permits are required as long as every single power plant features a capacity lower than 0.5MW. Within this framework, companies can sell their energy through qualified suppliers or acquire additional energy via the same route. The integral solution that Generac proposes is to install a natural gas generator at the customer’s facility, while following the norms and standards of the industry. The generator can be remote-controlled and monitored at Generac’s service desk.
To fit in the DG category, Mexico’s Electricity Industry Law (LIE) states that generation of electric power must meet some key characteristics: it must involve an exempt generator that follows the terms of the LIE and must feature a Power Plant interconnected to a distribution network containing a high concentration of load centers, following the terms of the electricity market.
A DG solution from Generac could bring savings of up to 38 percent compared to the usual CFE bill and up to 30 percent in net savings after considering operation and maintenance costs. Companies can also expect a return on investment ranging from 24 to 48 months.