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April 10, 2018   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Experience a Power Outage? You’re Not Alone

Every year, just about every American has experienced a power outage, according to the latest data compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy.


Every year, just about every American has experienced a power outage, according to the latest data compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy. While a power outage might be an annoyance for many, for mission critical facilities a power outage can be the difference between life and death. Thankfully, diesel generators have been the backup technology of choice for hospitals, shelters and other critical infrastructure.

In 2016, every American experienced a power outage lasting at least four hours, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Many of these events were brought on by extreme weather events such as snowstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes. Of all the states, Maine, Alaska and Louisiana topped the list of states subject to the most power outages. Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, North and South Carolina experience the greatest duration of power outages lasting more than 10 hours. While data for 2017 has not been compiled and released, Gulf Coast states will again top the list for the most customers experiencing long power outages.

For generations, diesel generators have been the technology of choice to keep critical facilities operating during these power loses. Diesel generators power many urgent care and emergency shelters during outages. They are even seen hard at work in less obvious applications including cell phone towers and wastewater treatment facilities. One of the primary benefits of the diesel backup platform is its portability. Diesel generators and fuel can be delivered to the remotest of locations to make sure critical facilities in all communities have access to needed power. In fact, several states in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast require that retail fuel locations either maintain a standby source of power generation or necessary electrical switchgear to accept a mobile generator to guarantee that first responders have access to fuel and motorists can stay on evacuation routes. In these instances, mobile diesel generators have been the technology of choice for these facilities.

While extreme weather events will always be with us, diesel technology is ready and able to keep the lights on for critical facilities and make sure first responders can complete their mission.



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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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