Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rental Power Plants: Bringing Reliable Power to Islands

Keeping islands supplied with reliable electricity comes with several challenges for island power utility providers.

Islands around the world have been experiencing a constant increase in local population and electricity utilization in the past decades, taking its toll on the local permanent power infrastructure. This is not helped by the seasonal rise in population during high tourism months, which creates a momentary but significant spike in electricity demand.

In light of this, the local permanent power stations that supply electricity to the islands have been failing to keep up with the continuous rise in power requirements, particularly in peak summer months, when residents use the most electricity and when tourists come flocking to the islands. A possible solution is to import electricity from the mainland or from other islands in the area, but the wide distance poses significant difficulties in moving reliable electricity.

On top of this is the issue of power plant operation and maintenance. As the local power plants age and become less efficient, they have increasingly been requiring enormous amounts of servicing and fuel, which adds to the cost of running them, hitting customers in the pocket.

In recognition of the urgent need to expand the power generation capacity and to improve the power infrastructure of islands, there has been a keen interest on building alternative power systems, particularly of renewables, but initiatives in this regards have been met with headwinds.

Not a one-size-fits-all solution

There are several observed obstacles to building renewable energy systems in islands.

First, there is the location. For instance, an island with a large population will require the most amount of electricity, but will have a limited space for wind or solar energy systems; while an island with fewer people may have more sites for renewable energy infrastructure, but may find it difficult to attract and secure investments owing to projected limited demand. A proposed solution is to move electricity between islands, but this is not possible in all cases, and building power transmission and distribution lines across huge distances will require a sizeable amount of capital expenditure.

Furthermore, renewables, like sunshine and wind, may not always be available in all sites, making the electricity production of renewable energy facilities highly intermittent. For example, the output of a wind farm will depend on the constant changes in wind speed and direction, and that of a photovoltaic system may fluctuate as clouds pass. The power generated by hydroelectric systems will vary with the amount of rainfall and the flow of streams.

Storing “as-available” energy maybe a possible solution, but, again, building energy storage facilities will be cost-prohibitive and will add to the price of electric power.

Support from firm electricity sources

In support of intermittent electricity sources, island power utility providers need firm energy sources, which are available on-demand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to meet their customers’ energy needs. Island power utilities will find benefits in partnering with multi-megawatt temporary power providers to supply reliable electricity anytime and anywhere it is needed.

Temporary power plants can be deployed at a moment’s notice and can be easily installed to start supplying electricity in a matter of days. The generators that make up the plants are containerized so they can be easily delivered as complete power packages anywhere in the world, even in remote areas. They are also modular, which means they can fit a wide variety of site lay-outs, and do not need to be laid out on a huge space. They also have low-noise and low-emission operations, so situating them within the vicinity of residential areas and tourist spots will not pose a huge issue.

The latest-technology temporary power plants can be easily connected to the existing local power infrastructure in islands, and can generate power either in synchronization with the local power generation plants or as a standalone system. They are flexible in power and voltage, and their electricity output can be scaled up or down to meet islands’ varying electricity demand.

Hiring temporary power plants will not require a sizable capital expenditure, and owing to their operational reliability and fuel efficiency will considerably reduce the operating and maintenance expenses of island utility providers.

New demand, new power sources

Island power utility providers are hard at work at meeting the perceived challenges of supplying reliable power to islands. Island utilities are gradually developing renewable energy projects where possible, adding power lines and substations needed for such projects, and working on improving energy storage technologies that will allow them to add more renewable energy to the grid. As island power utilities optimize renewable energy technologies to enhance their long-term reliability and overall power quality, other alternative power sources, such as multi-megawatt rental power plants, are ready to support the electricity needs of islands around the world, delivering reliable electricity anytime and anywhere it is needed.

For more information on temporary power solutions, visit


Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Benefits of Turning to Temporary Power from a Tenant’s Perspective

Owning a home has always been my lifelong goal, but unfortunately, personal and economic circumstances have not yet made that possible. So at present, I am renting a midsize house near my place of work. Through this experience, however, I realized that renting is a real viable alternative to having my own place – especially in a recuperating economy.

Working for a temporary power provider, I reckon that the benefits afforded to me by renting a home, compared to buying my own place, are parallel to the merits of turning to temporary power solutions, instead of building new or maintaining old permanent power plants. So for those who are having a hard time wrapping their heads around the concept of hiring electricity, here are 5 advantages of renting power explained through the perspective of a tenant.

1. Availability
When one chooses to rent, he will not have to wait for when the house is constructed or when the property is handed over, after all the legalities are fulfilled and relevant papers are signed. This can take years! Where will one stay, then? Under a tree? When one rents, he just has to pay the first month’s rent and move in. Simple. The same thing in turning to temporary power solutions. A city, a region or a country does not have to wait till the permanent power facilities are built to have electricity. The utilities can simply hire the services of a temporary power provider, the equipment and the engineering team will arrive at the site, and the power plant can be installed and powered on in a matter of days. Not years, but days.

2. Flexibility
One does not know what the future holds. One can get married and have children, and thus require a bigger home. On the flip side, one can lose his job or, touch wood, one of his loved ones, and decide to downgrade. Power requirements show a similar pattern. There are times, like during summer, when electricity requirement spikes, and there are seasons when it relaxes. With temporary power solutions, power utilities can choose to add or subtract power modules to increase or decrease the output of the power plants. There will be no need to build an additional permanent power facility when the power demand goes up, and there will be no need to run existing permanent power plants at part-load when electricity requirements go down.

3. No need to think of maintenance
Another definitive advantage of renting a home is that tenants do not have to think about maintenance and repair of household equipment and amenities. When you rent a property, the landlord should be responsible for all maintenance and repair jobs. It is the same case in hiring the services of temporary power providers. Part of their service is ensuring that generators run smoothly and efficiently at all times. So, clients can leave the maintenance services to the expert and highly trained engineers at site, and concentrate on activities that matters most to them.

4. Access to modern amenities/technology
Imagine building a state-of-the-art swimming pool and fully equipped gym in your own home. Nice to have, isn’t it? But they represent a colossal expense, and can be prohibitive to most of us. Temporary power solution providers deploy and install cutting-edge power generation technologies that are highly reliable and tremendously fuel efficient. Because such equipment can be rented, clients do not have to spend a fortune on capital expenditure, and can simply pay for the hired equipment and electricity from their operating revenues.

5. Freedom from worries of decreasing values
Property values go up or down. While this may be a huge factor for homeowners, it does not affect tenants. Hired temporary power plants can simply be demobilized when the requirement for supplemental electricity has sailed. This means that there will be no depreciating permanent equipment or facility left behind, which may sit idle and/or may need constant service and maintenance through the years. So those who turn to temporary power solutions do not have to worry about escalating expenses and dwindling values of permanent power facilities.

Bottom Line
Renting or buying is one’s own choice. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Personally, the trump card of renting is the availability, affordability and flexibility it provides. It may be a different case for you. But, this one is true: before deciding to rent or to buy, look at all the available choices, review the details and make the decision that fits your needs and your pocket.

To know more about how temporary power solutions can work for you, visit


Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Utilizing Stranded Gas to Boost Long-Term Production: A Case for Temporary Power Technologies

Oil & gas operators are constantly in search of innovative ways to optimize field operations, enhance long-term production, keep operational expenditure in check, and minimize the environmental impact of their operations. In this light, oil & gas operators are increasingly looking into in-field power generation.

Traditionally, oilfield equipment is powered by generators running on diesel, owing to the fuel’s wide availability, safety, and economy, and to the ease of installation of diesel-run generators. In recent years, however, natural gas-powered generators are progressively gaining acceptance as a workable alternative to diesel-run ones. Previously, using natural gas as fuel for in-field power generation was an unattractive proposition, primarily because of the absence of proper infrastructure and appropriate technologies to capture, process and utilize stranded natural gas. Today, with the existence of cutting-edge power generation solutions that can run on onsite natural gas, together with the increase in unconventional gas resources and the emission regulations in vigor in many countries around the world, oil & gas operators are gradually realizing the economic and environmental advantages of using natural gas to provide power for their operations.

Natural gas generator systems prove particularly beneficial in bigger and longer-duration projects. While it is true that natural gas units require a significant upfront expenditure, operating them have been shown to be more economical compared to generators running on other fuels, mainly due to fuel savings. Additionally, with natural gas generators, oil & gas operators can ensure maximum field uptime, because such equipment has longer run times in between service intervals.

At present, oil & gas operators have been keenly looking into expanding the scope of natural gas-powered generators, beyond the traditional drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

While power solutions running on natural gas are gaining ground, deploying them on a large scale still comes with particular challenges. Oil & gas operators will find benefit in partnering with a reputable and reliable power solutions provider, who can help them address the related obstacles and meet the power requirements of each stage of operations. Temporary power providers can offer alternative fuel technologies that represent a viable solution to the wide range of challenges related to the utilization of natural gas-powered units in oil & gas operations.

In this context, what should be expected of a reliable power partner?

A reliable temporary power provider should be capable of supplying a complete and integrated power solution to ensure an efficient and smooth installation of natural gas temporary power plants. It is imperative that the solution on offer should provide for modules to condition on-site natural gas, a complete electrical infrastructure (including generators, cables and other allied equipment), and provisions to utilize an alternative fuel source, in cases when the gas supply from the main source is insufficient.

A temporary power partner should offer flexible power technologies that can ensure consistent power generation amidst fluctuating gas supply volumes. This provision can particularly prove beneficial for nascent field operations, before a consistent source of field gas is established. For instance, the temporary power plants can initially run on liquid propane, then seamlessly transition to natural gas once the infrastructure to access gas from proximate pipelines is set up.

An efficient temporary power provider should also have the experience, expertise, and necessary provisions to be able to act swiftly in case problems arise at the site. Various field parameters should be constantly monitored and communicated to operations personnel at the site. They should be immediately notified of any problem relating to gas supply or generator function, and should always be ready to resolve the problem and restore the optimal operations of the temporary power generation systems.

Oil & gas operators are progressively understanding the opportunities of leveraging natural gas as a power source. However, without the proper infrastructure and appropriate technologies in place, oil & gas operators are restricted in capitalizing on this valuable resource. Temporary power solutions, such as gas generators or generators capable of running on more than one fuel, can help oil & gas operators in effectively utilizing natural gas to decrease overall operational expenditure and reduce field emission levels while keeping optimal production up-time.


Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

For more information on temporary power solutions and their application on oil & gas operations, visit:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Averting a Power Crisis: Is Curtailing Electricity Consumption the Best Option?

It seems logical, doesn’t it? If there was a hole in your boat, through which the water entered, what would you do? Plug it. If you lifted a box that proved to be too heavy for you, what would you do? Let it down a while, and unload a little. If you had colds, and it was making it hard for you to breathe, what would you do? Blow your nose.

The parallel couldn’t be clearer: If electricity was not enough, and consumption was outstripping the supply, what would a country, a province or a city do? Curtail the demand by all means, even if it means limiting work hours and mandating energy savings. But, does it really solve the problem, or is such a solution merely palliative?

Many hydropower-dependent countries around the world are facing an electricity shortage, owing to prolonged droughts brought about by the El Nino weather phenomenon. The absent or extremely low rainfall levels is choking off hydroelectric dams essential for supplying a lion’s share of the countries’ electricity resources. Because the countries’ power generation is severely hampered, governments and utility providers are forced to implement drastic electricity-conservation measures to make do in the face of the energy challenge.

Aside from load shedding and peak shaving, some countries have started rolling out a mandatory additional day-off for certain sectors, in an effort to control power consumption. While some employees welcome such directives, others are feeling apprehensive. Marta, 45, government employee, shares her thoughts. “I should be happy that I have more time to catch up on sleep and play with my kids, but I am worried about our productivity.” Just a few months ago, Marta’s office cut the working time short by two hours. “A lot of things are not getting done, because we were only working for six hours a day for five days. I cannot imagine what happens now that we will only be working for four days.”

Economists share Marta’s perspective, when they said that decreasing the number of working hours and shortening the work-week for government offices and private companies could worsen the countries’ already reeling economic performance. They said that the implementation of such measures could bring about devastating effects to the countries’ economic productivity, already depressed from the power crisis.

Alberto, 51, restaurateur, does not subscribe to the four-day work-week. “I cannot afford to have my restaurant closed for three days a week. It’s just not possible from a business stand-point.” Unfortunately, Alberto’s restaurant is in front of Marta’s office, so the four-day work-week affects its footfall. “Most of my customers are from that office. They take lunch here, and used to take something out for dinner. When they started working for two hours less, most of them stopped ordering for dinner, but at least they still eat lunch. Now, that they are off for three days, I don’t know how I can fill up the seats.”

Power-conservation measures, such as shortening work-hours, may have merits in immediately controlling electricity consumption, but there could be productivity-related drawbacks underneath the surface. As most businesses and industries need electricity to be productive, requiring them to suspend operations to save on power may be counter-productive to a certain extent.

In times when a country’s power generation is no longer enough to support the demand, governments and power utility providers may find benefit in turning to temporary power solutions to urgently supply the necessary electricity.

By having temporary power solutions on board, governments and power utilities need not spend scarce resources on capital purchase, which is usually the case when building permanent power plants, or refurbishing/rehabilitating old permanent power stations. Moreover, governments and power utilities can pay for the electricity produced by the hired power plants from their operating revenues. Hiring temporary power solutions also brings considerable cost savings, owing to the efficiency and reliability of temporary power technologies. Governments and power utilities will be able to save on fuel- and maintenance-related costs, vis-à-vis running or maintaining dated permanent power facilities.

Temporary power plants are flexible in power and voltage, and their capacity can be increased or decreased according to demand, so governments and power utilities can choose to add power modules as the requirement for power increases. Readily available and rapidly deployed and installed anywhere in the world, they temporary power plants are able to function in virtually any locations, including in areas where traditional power infrastructure, like grids and substations, is outdated, damaged or absent.

Temporary power plants are capable of supplying reliable electricity while droughts persist. As soon as the weather conditions improve, and dams have enough water to generate sufficient electricity, governments and power utilities can simply end the contract, and the temporary power solutions will be demobilized, leaving no idle permanent infrastructure or equipment.

Power supply insufficiency adversely affects big and small businesses alike, like Alberto’s restaurant; government services, as in the case of Marta; and an entire country’s economy. Persistent power outages result in hampered economic productivity that reins in the development of any country. In times of power-related challenges, such as drought for hydropower-dependent countries, temporary power technologies can supply the necessary electricity to keep businesses and industries going, while natural conditions eventually turn favorable.


Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

For more information on temporary power solutions, visit: