Though there are more gas station generators in the state of Florida than in years past, gas outages were still widespread in the wake of Hurricane Irma earlier this year. In 2004, Florida was smashed with three large hurricanes—Frances, Jeanne, and Wilma. Besides catastrophic damage, the brutal hurricane season also resulted in a Florida law requiring:
“Each newly constructed or substantially renovated motor fuel retail outlet, as defined in s. 526.303(14), for which a certificate of occupancy is issued on or after July 1, 2006, shall be prewired with an appropriate transfer switch, and capable of operating all fuel pumps, dispensing equipment, life safety systems, and payment-acceptance equipment using an alternate generated power source.”
Apart from requiring the 600 newly built gas stations to be prewired with an appropriate transfer switch and having the infrastructure to run from a generator, the law also required certain gas stations along evacuation routes (973 gas stations in all) to be “prewired with an appropriate transfer switch and be capable of operating all fuel pumps, dispensing equipment, lifesafety systems, and payment-acceptance equipment using an alternate generated power source.”
Gas Outages During Hurricane Irma Explained
Though legislators considered requiring gas stations to be equipped with the actual backup generators, the backlash from convenience store owners was palpable and the lawmakers backed down. The end result? More gas stations than before were equipped with either generators or backup power supplies as Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida, but not all. Gas outages were widespread before the storm because many gas stations ran out of fuel after the ports were shut down. Outages continued after the storm because many gas stations did not have backup power sources. Either they were built after the 2005 law and have not purchased backup generators themselves because they are expensive, or they are older stations that are not required to have generator wiring in place, and don’t because rewiring is complicated and costly.
Barriers to Installing Gas Station Generators
Switching from the main line to a generator requires substantial rewiring of the gas station’s main power box. The main electricity line has to be disconnected and the generator must be connected in its place. If you just connected a gas station generator to the main line, the generator would be trying to power the entire city, not the station. Though the costs of installing gas station generators may be high, the benefits are also well documented.
T-Environmental can help.
We are an environmental services company that specializes in cost-effective environmental compliance. As such, our generator services are conducted with your business and your bottom line in mind. We know that today most gas stations make their money from the store — not from the fuel. That’s why our generator services are designed to not only avoid disruptions in the gasoline supply and to protect the wellbeing of affected communities, but also to keep your business up and running — everything from convenience store goods to the ice machine and the restroom.