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The Rental Power Market: Significant Expansion During Next Five Years

backup generatorsYesterday, APR Energy said that it and GE have renewed their strategic partnership. APR Energy will be GE’s exclusive rental provider worldwide of GE mobile gas turbines of under 50MW. APR, as part of the agreement, will acquire Generation 8 TM2500+ mobile turbines. The companies will collaborate on outreach to potential customers.

Organizations’ use of power has peaks and valleys. For instance, the holiday shopping season may require more output than is necessary during the dog days of summer. An environmental emergency may mean that shelters that usually have small and time-limited crowds are open 24/7 to accommodate families who temporarily can’t stay in their homes.

For these and many other purposes, the power rental market is a viable alternative. Energy managers should be aware of the availability, use cases and the major players. It is a large and growing sector. MarketsandMarkets released a report in September that said that the worldwide market will grow from $3.86 billion in 2016 to $6.40 billion in 2021, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6 percent.

Drivers, the report said, include “the growing demand for power, aging grid infrastructure, and lack of access to electricity, and increasing construction and infrastructural activities across the globe.”

Breakdowns of such reports are as useful as the final numbers which, of course, are guesses. The fuel types are diesel, gas and others; the power rating categories are less than 80 KW, 81 KW to 280 KW, 281 KW to 600 KW and above. The six main use categories are utilities, oil and gas, events, construction, mining and manufacturing.

An anecdotal sign that the category is expanding is that United Rentals Power & HVAC is expanding to Charleston, SC, Cumming, GA and Freeport, TX. The press release says that the new outlets “will provide engineered solutions for temporary power, heating, cooling and ventilation, as well as disaster recovery services.”

A typical lower capacity rental power implementation was at the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship in St. Paul, MN. The center of the action is a large downhill race course. There is plenty of opportunity for the ice to get slushy, since the competition is run in heats. There also are other power requirements that don’t exist when the event is not being held.

The event would not have been possible without the supply of power to meet three contrasting needs. The ice track needed to be frozen, and then kept frozen no matter which way the thermometer moved. Hospitality and sponsors’ tents needed to be heated to provide guests with a comfortable retreat whenever they wanted it. Last but not least, television coverage of the event had to have guaranteed power for lighting, cameras and communications gear.

John Gibbons is general manager, North American rental business, for Cummins Power Generation said that four generators that run at 500 KW and one at 400 KW were dispatched to handle the sudden – and temporary – requirements.


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