Newsom’s effort to mitigate effects of rolling blackouts praised; deploying backup power assets will help protect public health and safety

In response to the heat wave engulfing California and the shortages of electricity plaguing the state, the Diesel Technology Forum praised Governor Newsom’s approach to incorporate the use of backup power generation assets as a key strategy to help prevent rolling blackouts.

“During this critical time of unprecedented extreme weather conditions, we see again the importance of diesel technology – proven, available and reliable – to key sectors of California’s economy and particularly the government’s ability to respond to crisis situations and protect and ensure public health and safety,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, a not-for-profit association representing manufacturers of diesel engines and equipment, key suppliers of emissions control and other technologies and fuel producers.

“Today’s new generation of diesel emergency backup generators provides safe, reliable, proven and portable power where it is needed, when it is needed and for however long it is needed,” he said. “For industrial or institutional customers with existing backup units, running those units and disconnecting from the grid frees up important electrical capacity for others.

“Continuous supply of reliable electricity during a dangerous heat wave is rightfully a top priority and a matter of public health and safety. Governor Newsom has taken action that is appropriate and responsible to protect Californian’s from impacts from a historic heat wave and threat of loss of grid power when it is needed most.

“Regardless of the circumstances behind the blackout situation, Governor Newsom’s response is practical and solution-oriented. At times like this, the availability, portability and reliability of diesel or natural gas generators must be weighed against wide-ranging impacts, both economic and on public health and safety of electrical power outages. Disruptions, even in the short term, can be far reaching, including loss of traffic control systems, water treatment facilities, communications outages, risks to food storage and public safety from loss of refrigeration, air conditioning and impacts on other vital services.”

According to the latest estimated inventory compiled by the California Air Resources Board, there are an estimated 2,773 larger diesel units that provide critical backup power in excess of 25 KW. These larger units, both mobile and stationary, provide backup power to large residences, communities, and medical and critical care facilities while providing essential services like water treatment, traffic control and cooling centers among many other services.

“Reliable and continuous supplies of clean diesel fuel are available in California, and many of the existing stand-by generators are equipped with the latest emissions controls that reduce emissions, ensuring that these units can deliver responsive power when called upon. Other large municipal and private facilities throughout California, operate emergency diesel backup generators with renewable diesel fuel capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent,” said Schaeffer.