Last year 15 catastrophic weather and climate events struck, destroying property, uprooting people’s lives in the United States, causing more than $15 billion in damages. Devastating natural disasters also rolled across the globe. Earthquakes hit northeast of Rome in January and in Ecuador last spring. The devastation is unimaginable. People are left without running water or electricity for weeks on end. Hospitals and schools are closed. Water treatment centers shuttered. Power is one of the most important things needed to move down the path of recovery.
In March 2011, a powerful 9.0 magnitude earthquake – and one of the largest in recorded history rocked the northeastern coast of Japan. The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and the subsequent tsunami caused massive damage to the nuclear power infrastructure and devastated the region; there was an immediate loss of power and a need to evacuate thousands of residents. In fact, several nuclear and conventional power plants went offline after the earthquake, causing rolling blackouts across several regions in Japan for weeks. Of several emergency products flown to Japan during the aftermath, MOBILEPAC – an emergency power source – was among the first.
MOBILEPAC is emergency mobile power, a lifeline to people in need that is fueled by jet engines, generating 30 megawatts of power – enough electricity to power more than 30,000 homes in times of temporary power loss. Since developing MOBILEPAC in 2004, PW Power Systems (PWPS) has deployed more than 130 units around the world. MOBILEPAC – 90 percent of which is American-made – can be installed quickly (we call this fast-track power) and supply power in situations where there is a need for emergency power or a need for temporary power as power plants are built or restored.
In the 2011 Japan earthquake, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had to take down several generators before mobile power was available on site. In addition to the devastating earthquake, hydrogen build-up caused multiple nuclear reactors to explode. TEPCO lost nearly 21 gigawatts of its capacity, resulting in immediate power needs for disaster recovery with little time for construction. PWPS quickly flew in and installed a 203 megawatt customized emergency power solution consisting of five gas turbines across two sites. Both plants were fully operational within a few days to help relieve the TEPCO grid blackouts.