At Microgrid 2017 in Boston, Michael Bakas, executive vice president at Ameresco, explained why microgrids can be the answer for companies that value energy resiliency.
Kevin Normandeau, publisher of Microgrid Knowledge, asked Bakas if microgrids will one day achieve the market share and importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“Without question,” Bakas responded — if customers can assign a value to energy resiliency.
Microgrids integrate renewable and non-renewable technology. “So ultimately, you are going to find ways to integrate the intermittent resources with base load generation to create resiliency,” he said.
What value should businesses put on energy resiliency? Bakas explained it depends on who you are and what you provide.
“Mission critical facilities value resiliency to some extent more than others,” Bakas said.
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He offered the example of a five-hour Delta Airlines power outage in 2016 at the company’s hub in Atlanta, which caused the airline to cancel more than 1,000 flights and ultimately cost them about a $150 million.
“Customers were not happy. It was such a material impact they had to restate their forecasted operating income reducing it by over two margin points,” Bakas said. “I think today if you were to go to these same business executives at Delta and ask them if they value resiliency, my thought is they would give you a very clear and definitive yes, and tell you exactly to what extent.”
Ultimately, Bakas expects the microgrid industry to grow by “leaps and bounds.”
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An independent provider of renewable energy and energy efficiency, Ameresco offers energy savings performance contract solutions for public and private organizations throughout North America and the U.K.
Michael Bakas is executive vice president at Ameresco.
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