With the beginning of hurricane season upon us, it's probably only a matter of time before one or more coastal communities in the U.S. are affected by the impact of destructive weather events, and one large power company is putting its employees and technology to work on a solution for providing some essentials to people in those hard-hit areas.
NRG Energy has just unveiled their "Power2Serve" concept, a 42-foot disaster relief vehicle and 26-foot trailer combination designed to deliver immediate power and shelter to impacted areas, as well as providing numerous charging ports for gadgets and access to Wi-Fi and satellite communications.
The Power2Serve vehicle features a 10 kW solar array and 20 kW diesel generator (plus a 10kW auxiliary generator) to provide power, a number of flat screen displays for news and weather broadcasts, 100 charging stations for mobile devices, tablet computers for accessing email and the internet, and an enclosed 50 x 20 foot climate-controlled pavilion for temporary emergency shelter.
"The Power2Serve vehicle is a way for NRG to be more involved in our communities as part of future disaster relief efforts – harnessing our collective skills and knowledge in a creative, hands-on way to respond quickly to help affected people. It’s an opportunity for us to bring electricity to impacted residents in times of urgent need, to do whatever we can to make their lives a little better." - Fran Sullivan, senior VP of NRG plant operations
The company purchased a used commercial vehicle for this concept, and modified it to suit its new purpose, which will be to be dispatched to emergency locations (along with three other smaller support vehicles) in coordination with the needs and directives of disaster relief officials.
To staff the vehicles, the company recruited 400 of their employees to be trained as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members and as “ServeCrew” community volunteers to assist in disaster relief efforts based out of the 'home base' of the Power2Serve vehicle.