In part one of this two-part blog series, we took a look at the unique challenges currently facing Texas RECs on the ERCOT grid. It was already important that they provide reliable and stable power to their members while also keeping costs low.
Most cooperatives have found short-term power supply solutions, but many of these aren’t financially suitable for the long term. In short – it’s an uncertain time. As these RECs look to the future, they need reliable solutions and they need them soon. They also need partners who understand their unique market and needs. That’s where we come in.
Perceptive Power Infrastructure: A homegrown team
At Perceptive Power Infrastructure, we’re a tight knit team of energy professionals from small-towns all across America who share a common belief. RECs nationwide keep the lights on for 42 million hardworking Americans and they need partners they can trust. For too long transparency has been lacking in the energy sector and we want to change that.
RECs already bring in less revenue than their urban counterparts. According to NRECA, one mile of service line in a rural area serves eight customers on average and generates $19,000 in annual revenue. By contrast, one mile of service line in an urban area can serve 32 customers and bring in $79,000 annually.
We understand that the rural economy is unique by its very design. For that reason, we meet with our clients where they are and we get to know their community first. What are their needs? What solutions do they think will work best for those needs? Then, we propose what we think will fit based on what we’ve learned about the cooperative and their budget. We open up our books so that our partners know exactly what they’re getting for the price they pay. From the first meeting to the completion of the contract, we keep the lines of communication open. Our goal is to build a relationship with honesty and trust at its foundation. We call this the Perceptive Way.
Distributed generation solutions with Texas in mind
Of course, the right solution will vary from co-op to co-op. A 1,000 MW co-op will have very different long term power supply needs from a 40 MW one. Generally though, we’re pleased to say that distributed generation solutions have already been proven in Texas..
Another important benefit to distributed generation is the potential to reduce 4CP grid usage. Those four 15-minute periods each summer have a lasting impact on costs for the rest of the year. Using the right combination of distributed solutions at the right time during those periods won’t just ensure adequate supply during peak demand, but it could translate to huge savings on those Transmission Cost Recovery Factors charges.
Possibly most important, a diverse distributed generation portfolio is going to help balance cost and supply and boost both resilience and reliability without needing to upgrade transmission lines.
The right combination of thermal, solar and storage
At Perceptive Power Infrastructure, we’re currently focused on three solutions: natural gas-powered reciprocating internal combustion engine (RICE) units, PV solar and energy storage. All of these technologies have advanced significantly in recent years. Modern reciprocating engines, for example, can produce up to 19 MW. They can quickly provide increments of electricity during peak load periods and can start up even when the grid is down. Not only is this a great complement to solar, but it’s also important in the wake of an unexpected shutdown or when peak demand is anticipated.
Depending on an RECs power supply portfolio and current agreements with their supply partners, any of the following solutions could be a logical addition:
In order to create a solution based on the right mix of technologies run at the right times, we use a proprietary financial model. Before we run the model or propose a solution, the first thing we do is get to know our client on a human level. We don’t want to replace the supply and contracts they already have. We want to strengthen their existing power supply and help them achieve their goals. Once we know what those goals are, we collect data about their power supply portfolio and yearly costs. Using all of this information, we create a consultative, tailored solution.
Energy solutions for the future of Texas
As RECs look to the future, they have a lot of options to consider. At Perceptive Power Infrastructure, we think that a portfolio which includes distributed generation is the right step to take to balance costs and address many of the challenges facing the state today. We understand that the future is going to bring a lot of big decisions for RECs. We also understand that RECs tend to take a more conservative approach when it comes to these decisions, and rightfully so.
If you’re a decision maker for an REC anywhere in the Texas markets and you’re looking for long-term solutions, give Scott a call. He’ll listen to what you have to say and let you know if we’re the right company to help you build those solutions. He, as well as the rest of us here at Perceptive Power Infrastructure, look forward to helping shape the future of Texas energy distribution.