A power plant, or power station, is an important facility in the generation of electricity. Virtually all power stations consist of a generator, in which a rotating turbine converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. Most power plants are fuelled by fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, while others depend on nuclear power.
In recent years, power plant rental has become popular around the world, in both developed economies like the UK and the US and more unstable regions like Pakistan. But what exactly is power plant rental and what benefits does it bring?
Why do energy companies hire power plants?
Essentially, rental power plants are set up to temporarily increase power capacity for instance, after an emergency or during short-term peaks in demand. For instance, a particular area of a country may have a high concentration of power plants. If that region experiences an earthquake, a flood or another natural disaster, these plants may be unable to generate power. In order to pick up the shortfall, the government or energy companies can hire power plants to meet national energy demands until the region re-builds and its permanent power plants function once again.
Rental power plants are also used to implement season peak shaving. Peak shaving happens when some power plants are used only during hours of busy activity for instance, after work hours on weekdays or during a World Cup final – so the national grid doesnt buckle under the strain of peak demand. Additionally, power plant hire offers a handy, flexible option when the national grid is undergoing routine maintenance, and can help prevent outages in countries that are dependent on hydro-power but are suffering from drought.
Benefits of hiring a power plant
One of the main benefits of hiring a power plant rather than building a new, permanent station is that they can be quickly available when necessary. For instance, natural disasters often have unforeseeable consequences. If a countrys power capacity is suddenly lowered because of a natural disaster, rental power plants can quickly step in to make up the shortfall. Their short-term nature means that hired power plants can be quickly disengaged when they are no longer needed too, which may be more cost-effective for governments and energy firms in the long run as they involve less capital expenditure.
Another advantage of power plant hire is its flexibility. If a rented power plant is found to have insufficient capacity, for instance, it can be quickly expanded. Similarly, if its found to be too big, energy companies can ask to decrease capacity, and thereby save money while still meeting the demand for electricity.