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Companies are increasingly making their own power

By: L.M. Sixel |

A trend made popular by grocery stores and manufacturing plants that have a constant need for power to keep their merchandise at the right temperature or maintain their operations during utility company power outages is spreading to other industries.

About 25 percent of companies have already invested in on-site generation with solar power and co-generation which combines heat and power, according to a survey of about 1,000 companies by  Centrica, the British-based company that owns Direct Energy, the third biggest seller of electricity in Texas. Another 32 percent are planning to invest in solar power during the next two years while 30 percent are considering co-generation investments in combined heat and power.

Many companies view their investments in home-grown generated power like solar energy and battery storage as a way to obtain competitive advantage, according to the study. The investments are also seen as an opportunity by nearly half of the businesses surveyed of feeding energy into the grid.

The study surveyed businesses in the United States along with companies in Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Ireland.