Saber Power Services and Distributed Power Solutions Team Up for Hurricane Response
JUNE 29, 2021
On August 26, 2020, Hurricane Laura knocked out power to half a million customers across the Gulf Coast. The entire electrical grid was devastated and unstable. A backup power source was deemed vital while the damage was repaired. One of the region’s primary utility providers released this statement: “Because of the extent of damage and rebuilding required, we expect recovery to be as difficult and challenging as we have ever faced in the past and customers in the hardest-hit areas should expect extended power outages lasting for weeks.”
The next morning, Saber Power, an electrical engineering and construction services company, had their first conference call with Distributed Power Solutions (DPS), an energy company that supplies fast-track turnkey power solutions. One of Saber Power’s key customers, Energy Transfer, was temporarily allocated 8MW of power by their utility provider, far short of the 40MW necessary to supply power to their facility. Saber needed a creative solution. In less than a week, DPS and Saber Power needed to deliver enough turbines to generate 40MW of power to the plant substation.
The goal was straightforward – Energy Transfer would temporarily switch from grid power to island mode with 7 Solar Tarus-60 mobile turbines serving as the interim power plant. As Cody Durio, Sales Engineer for DPS, commented: “It is one thing to deploy in this magnitude quickly with proper planning, but it’s a different story to pull this off on 24-hour notice. It was not without its share of stress, but Saber Power and DPS have a strong history as first responders. With everyone making use of all resources at our disposal, we got the job done.”
At 6 pm Monday evening on August 31st, Energy Transfer gave Saber and DPS the green light to put the plan into motion. Mason Tusa, Branch Manager for DPS, said: “We had the equipment in the yard, serviced and ready. We even made the financial decision to start securing trucks that morning. But when I got the call, it was time to switch into high gear.”
Texas and Louisiana had each issued a state of emergency, which allowed DPS to immediately deploy trucks across highways via emergency declarations. One hour after getting the call, the first trucks departed the DPS yard to run the 10-hour drive from Odessa to Nederland. Within 24 hours, more than 30 trucks had arrived with power in tow and prepared for staging.
Energy Transfer had already initiated their own plan to build the pad and deliver fuel gas for the turbines. Starting Monday night hundreds of dump truck loads were mobilized to deliver rock for the pad. By Tuesday morning pipe spools were being fabricated and coated, and preparations for a gas interconnect were made. Energy Transfer crews worked perfectly delivering the site and fuel gas in record time.
For the electrical work, Saber Power’s engineering team requested technical specifications to fast-track the engineering studies and preparations for the electrical interconnects. This required a significant amount of data from the customer regarding the existing substation, and detailed information on the turbines and associated equipment being delivered to the site. Saber’s procurement department worked diligently with their strategic partners to source thousands of feet of cable and miscellaneous material to the site.
By Thursday morning the pad was completed, engineering studies were being reviewed, and equipment started moving onto the pad. The next 3 days were a flurry of cable, trays, electrical interconnects, and piping. A delicate ballet of crane lifts and a no-holds-barred approach to calling in the cavalry each time an unforeseen challenge arose. After four days, all equipment and infrastructure had been installed. Six days after getting the green light, Saber and DPS were ready to deliver over 40 Megawatts of power.
Scott Milligan, President at DPS reflects, “Ultimately the utility company was able to stabilize the grid and DPS operated in standby mode until the facility was in the clear. Regardless, I have never seen so many people rise to such an immense challenge in so little time. We had half our human resources on major power projects out of country. At that moment I think we had upwards of 400MW of distributed power deployed jointly with our sister company Energy Rental Solutions-Caterpillar. Saber Power was responding en masse to their customers across the region to help assess and repair damages. DPS brought support in overnight from 2 countries and 4 states. Solar Turbines dedicated a team of the most knowledgeable field guys within reach of the project. We leaned hard on many of our vendors and coordinated with Saber to fill in the gaps. This project was one for the books.” Bruce Cranfill, Executive Vice President at Saber Power stated, “The efforts of everyone to support Energy Transfer to install and commission 40 megawatts in record time was an amazing accomplishment.”
DPS provides power generation rental solutions to meet the growing global demand for energy related products and services. DPS’s turnkey rental solutions ensure you are prepared for your planned or emergency utility needs, 24/7/365. DPS is dedicated to the power generation business and has one of the largest equipment rental fleets of turbine and reciprocating engine generators available to meet demand. Our unmatched product support services include design, engineering, installation, and operation to help solve utility needs. DPS brings the expertise and focus of a specialty rental business to our customers to solve their temporary power generation needs.
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