Ben E. Keith chooses Enchanted Rock to deliver, maintain Gas-Fired Microgrid for Dallas Distribution Center

July 16, 2022
Enchanted Rock will manage and monitor the system around the clock. The gas-fired microgrid will provide quickly available power and produce less than a tenth of diesel-power gen-set emissions, the energy firm said

National food and beverage distributor Ben E. Keith will utilize a natural gas-fired microgrid to bolster energy resiliency at its Dallas facility.

The company selected Houston-based Enchanted Rock to deliver the gas-fired microgrid gen-set for Ben E. Keith’s Dallas beverage distribution site. The system will be set up as a dual-purpose resiliency microgrid utilizing Enchanted Rock’s Integrated Resiliency on Call (iROC) service.

The microgrid will provide full facility-level backup power capacity to ensure Ben E. Keith’s beverage distribution and storage services continue uninterrupted even in the event of unplanned or planned grid outages. Unexpected power outages have been on the rise in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Texas grid in recent years due to increasingly severe weather events both in summer and winter.

In fact, the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas system operator (ERCOT) twice this week asked for voluntary customer power conservation to avoid potential outage situations due to peak demand nearly overwhelming grid capacity.

Food and beverage distribution services often require cold storage at specificly maintained temperatures.

“Though efforts have been made towards improving the quality and reliability of our electric utility, we want to be prepared for any future outage that may occur at this location and protect ourselves against potential business shut-downs due to utility loss,” said Jon Thompson, Vice President of Operations for Ben. E. Keith Beverages. “We were attracted to Enchanted Rock by their track record of helping other major Texas operations maintain power while others experienced outages and operational interruptions. In addition to increased resilience, we are excited by the cleaner and quieter performance of these natural gas generators.”

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Enchanted Rock will manage and monitor the system around the clock. The gas-fired microgrid will provide quickly available power and produce less than a tenth of diesel-power gen-set greenhouse gas emissions, the energy firm said.

“We want to make sure this iconic company can focus on their nationally-respected distribution operations without having to worry about power outages,” said Ken Cowan, Senior Vice President of Sales at Enchanted Rock. “Our electrical resiliency-as-a-service model ensures peace of mind for Ben E. Keith, especially with their impressive focus on automating their complex operations. We’re proud to ensure that our services are not only reliable, but also more sustainable.”

Enchanted Rock has delivered microgrids for commercial and mission-critical sites such as municipal water treatment facilities. Recently the company announced an agreement to supply a microgrid fueled by renewable natural gas for a Microsoft data center in California.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.