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Powerful Thinking Blog: Power Providers Step Up During Pandemic

Sustainable power expert Tim Benson, representing Vision: 2025 Steering Group Member Powerful Thinking, talks about the positive response from the power sector in the UK to stepping up to additional power demands caused by the covid-19 pandemic: 

“Unsurprisingly, event contractors have proven yet again how agile and resilient they can be in the face of a global crises.  For the power sector in particular, it’s business as usual, with contractors staying open to provide critical power back up services and crew for emergency installations.

A handful of independent power contractors and some larger plant hire firms have rallied around the UK’s coronavirus effort, providing temporary power solutions for the Nightingale Hospitals and NHS drive through test centres. Aggreko, in particular, led the charge and pledged up to 1,300 small generators to the NHS for their pop-up testing facilities, whilst John F Hunt provided units for the temporary hospital at London’s Excel.

In March the Independent and Telegraph newspapers raised concerns about potential power outages due to surges in demand as people remained indoors but, thus far, these incidents have been few and far between. Whilst many power contractors stepped up to the mark offering kit to mitigate these demand issues, their services have not yet been required, but I think we would all agree that it’s comforting to know that capacity is there should things change.

Initiatives like EPIC in Brighton (Event Producers Independent Committee) are springing up across the UK, whereby contractors can register services that they can provide to help build temporary infrastructure for Covid-19 facilities. Power contractors are signing up quickly to these schemes, with some offering discounted hire rates and even free delivery to assist with the gargantuan national efforts.

My only concern is seeing oversized diesel generators in news footage managing low load applications when perhaps hybridised systems would be more efficient, quieter and certainly more environmentally sustainable. But let’s not dwell on that and, instead, congratulate all our sector colleagues on a united effort!”  Tim Benson, Powerful Thinking Lead, Director at Smart Power Ltd and Consultant at ZAP Concepts.