Frequently Asked Questions - Mississippi
- What is Power Through?
Power Through is an energy resilience service offering backup generation at an affordable cost. We facilitate the installation, operation, and maintenance of natural gas-fired generators at customer facilities for a monthly cost added on the customer bill rather than a total upfront cost. The generators are first and foremost to provide enhanced reliability of electricity at customer sites. Second, the generators provide energy to the grid at peak times when not being used for emergencies. The production of energy to counteract peak demand allows Entergy Mississippi to provide this offering to participating business customers at a discount.
- Who owns, operates, & maintains the generator?
Entergy Mississippi will own, operate, & maintain the generator located on the customer’s premises. The generator will be offered at an affordable, fixed monthly charge over 20 years inclusive of installation, operation, and maintenance costs. Entergy Mississippi will maintain and operate its Power Through facilities as appropriate. You will receive automated priority use in the event of a grid power outage.
- How do I pay for the Power Through generator?
The fixed monthly charge will be included on your business’ monthly bill for electric service (similar to how charges are included today for additional facilities). There are no upfront charges by Entergy Mississippi for participation.
- Who pays for the natural gas?
You will be responsible for paying for natural gas as normal. Our analysis predicts costs of natural gas when our systems turn the generator on during peak demand of the grid or emergencies.
- What are the requirements for my business to be part of Power Through?
• You must be a commercial or industrial customer of Entergy Mississippi. We are not servicing residential customers through Power Through at this time.
• Your business must have a need for a generator of more than 100 kw and less than 500 kw.
• Your business must have natural gas service available.
• Adequate space is needed for the generator. We will work with you to determine the size generator needed and the space it will require.
• Your facility will need to pass a series of technical feasibility requirements that the Power Through team will facilitate.
- How often will you turn the generator on?
The generator will turn on automatically during emergency events. Entergy Mississippi will start the generator remotely when needed for the grid. We expect the generator to run around 150 hours a year, but it depends on the conditions of the market and the demand for electricity. Also, generators are periodically tested weekly or monthly depending on size and manufacturer recommendations.
- How long will it take for my generator to be installed and available?
Though every installation is different due to unique installation requirements, it typically takes about 4-6 months to procure a generator, customize the solution, obtain required permits, prepare the site, and have it installed and ready to go. During this time you will have the benefit of an experienced partner, Entergy Mississippi, to minimize burden to you and help efficiently navigate the process.
- What will the costs be to me?
The total installed cost for a natural gas generator will be unique to each customer based on its generator provider choice and construction needs. Prior to signing a contract to participate in Power Through, a partner vendor and Power Through will present an estimate of the total cost including the unit, options selected, installation, and maintenance that will factor into a fixed monthly payment after the equipment is operational. Customers should expect to receive a discount with the Power Through offering as compared to the price to purchase, install, and maintain solely by an electrical contractor.
As with any work of this nature, unexpected changes in cost could result once the on-site work begins. Therefore, participating customers will be responsible for paying the actual installed costs over time, even if different than the original estimate (whether higher or lower).
- What are the key advantages of the Power Through solution?
Natural gas is clean and reliable with longer uninterrupted fuel supplies. We want to give you the best back-up power available in the market.
Cleaner: As per EPA regulations, any generator that is used during non-emergency events needs to be below a certain level of emissions. So, we are only working with natural gas generators for Power Through. Natural gas is one of the cleanest fossil fuels when it burns. Also, natural gas does not produce a pungent odor, which is fairly common in generators powered by diesel.
Quieter: Natural gas generators produce less noise pollution and can be more easily attenuated if needed.
More affordable fuel: The cost of natural gas is lower than the price of diesel per BTU and there is no need for onsite storage, which would require additional maintenance.
More reliable: Each system will also be designed with an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) so that we can remotely turn the generator on. For you, having an ATS means that in the event of a power outage, the generator will turn on automatically as well as back off when the grid is restored. Finally, we work with only the most qualified maintenance and fuel vendors, to do all the required maintenance, as often as is needed to ensure the health of your generator.
- How will my operations be affected when the generator is activated for grid use in non-emergency situations?
With our ‘make before break’ solution, we will transfer you seamlessly from the grid to the generator and back if your unit is activated during normal grid operations. You may experience some noise from the generator running depending on its location.
During the event of a loss of power from the grid, the backup power supply will activate within 10 seconds to bring your business back online. With our ‘make before break’ solution, we will transfer you seamlessly from the grid to the generator and back if your unit is activated during normal grid operations. You may experience some noise from the generator running depending on its location.
- Where will the generator be installed?
The location of the equipment will be determined through detailed engineering and planning, with support from the backup generator supplier / installer. First, we will determine what size and type of generator is best for your needs, particularly your electric load. Second, to determine a location, we will take into account factors such as the location of your gas and electric meters, your service panel, existing easements and rights-of-way, and the physical layout of your facility. We will carry out this process together, along with the backup generator supplier / installer to develop a least-cost, best-fit solution for your business.
- What happens if my generator fails when I need it?
With our full maintenance schedules and continuous monitoring of the generator’s health, it’s very unlikely that the generator will fail. In the rare event that it does, our Original Equipment Manufacturer (“OEM”) and maintenance partners will be readily available to visit your facility and get the generator up and running. Since we will be constantly monitoring the generator from our command center, we will be able to detect if the generator fails. This will trigger dispatching a service professional to correct the issue and notify you.
- hat if I already own a generator? Can my generator be used for demand response? Can you buy my generators from me and use them for this?
We are currently only working with new generation installations. Please let us know when your current generators end their expected life so that we can partner with you for an upgrade. Currently, we only work with new generation installations.
- What is normally included in the cost of installation?
• Hardware (generator, ATS, gateway, etc.) installation
• Electrical wiring and conduit from generator and utility to the ATS and your business
• Mechanical piping for natural gas to the generator
• Civil site work (dirt work, concrete pad, fencing, permitting)
• Labor costs (mechanical and electrical)
• Transport and logistics
• Equipment siting (crane) for generator and ATS
• SAT (system acceptance test) and commissioning
*Typical installation, to be evaluated case by case
- What do you need to know about my business to size the generator?
We need to know your facility’s load profile. While we can estimate the appropriate size of a generator based on your company’s power usage, to properly size your generator we will want to determine your peak load (& in-rush current), understand your configuration and major loads, and any existing partial coverage generators.
- How do I know it will be safe when you turn on my generator remotely?
The generator will be enclosed and monitored so that our dispatchers are sure that it’s safe to turn them on.
- How often will you do maintenance on the generator? What can I expect from this?
Maintenance and repairs of the generator are included with the Power Through offering. Maintenance and repairs will be conducted by our OEM and maintenance partners in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations to better ensure reliability when it is needed. While the specifics of maintenance will vary by size and manufacturer, it generally includes inspection, oil changes, filters, seals, spark plugs, fuses, belts, hoses, batteries, and periodic run & load testing. Everything that is needed to make sure the generator runs when needed. The expected run time generally should preclude the need for any major overhauls over the estimated 20 year life.
- How is it determined which and how many generators Entergy Mississippi dispatches during non-emergency dispatch times?
Power Through will dispatch generators when it is more economical to operate them than to generate electricity or buy it from the market. This happens during peak demand moments. Typically, we expect run time to vary seasonally. Generally, the unit may run as little as an hour a day in the spring and fall; during the winter and summer the generator could run for a few hours at a time up to a full day. Overall we expect around 150 hours a year of run time.
- What are you monitoring from the generator?
We will remotely monitor for any alert or alarms from the generator and dispatch a service professional to correct the issue and notify you of the issue and the solution.