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Powering Paradise

9/1/2016 | Words: Ashleigh Artist | Pictures: Pacific Power Group


Today’s hyper-connected telecommunications customer expects nothing less than uninterrupted service. Momentary loss of connectivity can seem unbearable. Add in the feeling of despair and helplessness that follows a major weather emergency, and you have a full-blown catastrophe on your hands. For telecom companies to effectively service their customers, uptime is king.

Oceanic Time Warner Cable provides television, internet and home security services to Hawaii. As the Western Pacific flagship of Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable service provider in the United States, Oceanic keeps nearly 350,000 households, schools and businesses connected.

For Oceanic, reliable backup power is a safety imperative to keep people connected during times of need and to keep businesses up and running. Major power failures are occurring more frequently around the world. This is due, in part, by the world’s increasing demand on electrical grids, but Mother Nature also plays a major role. This is especially true in Hawaii with its tropical climate, which can bring storms, hurricanes and even rare weather events like tsunamis. While there will always be an amount of uncertainty when it comes to utility outages, Oceanic knows the best way to reduce risk is with reliable emergency standby power.

Powerful Partnership
Since 1969, Hawaii residents have relied on Oceanic for their telecommunications needs. To ensure the company’s technically-advanced systems are supported by state-of-the-art network infrastructure, Oceanic has long used backup power at its many facilities in Hawaii. In 2007, Oceanic tapped Pacific Power Group (PPG), Hawaii’s authorized MTU Onsite Energy distributor, to provide expert service and preventive maintenance to more than 30 data hubs on Oahu and the Outer Islands.
Oceanic’s needs grew over the years as the company opened new facilities and overhauled several existing backup power plants. When Oceanic needed new emergency backup power systems with low life cycle costs, PPG knew MTU Onsite Energy generator sets would meet the company’s needs.

“Once we detailed the flexibility and customization options that were available with MTU Onsite Energy, the Oceanic team was sold,” said Mike Atchley of Pacific Power Group. “We trust MTU Onsite Energy for our customers because they’re reliable, offer maximum uptime, and have high engine expectancy in telecom applications.” Since 2012, PPG has supplied 15 MTU Onsite Energy diesel generator sets in varying power ranges from 50 – 350 kW, dependent on application. As that successful partnership approaches ten years, PPG’s backup power sales and service support has grown to include more than 40 Oceanic locations across the state that serve approximately 1.3 million people.

Most of Oceanic’s backup power systems are installed indoors with subbase fuel tanks. Other inland generator sets are rooftop installations. Some near-ocean units, however, reside less than a quarter mile from the ocean and require specialized enclosures to contend with the corrosive salt air from the Pacific.

“For Oceanic’s near-ocean installations we used custom stainless steel enclosures to protect the units from the salt-laden air,” said Atchley. “These shoreline facilities are also coated with high-yield paint to ensure protection from the elements.”

Shored Up Service
Hawaii is the only U.S. state comprised entirely of islands. That unique geography offers the PPG team breathtaking views, but regular service and maintenance visits are also challenging, particularly when traversing to the outer islands or responding to a critical service call.

According to Atchley, “Oceanic has a very sophisticated communications system that half of the company’s backup power units are tied into. If something happens to one of those generator sets an alarm immediately signals them and, if needed, we’re called out.”

For Hawaii’s residents, MTU Onsite Energy and PPG are the silent heroes powering their telecommunications needs. With complete service and a personalized approach, PPG is key to ensuring uninterrupted service for the Aloha state.

The content of the stories reflects the status as of the respective date of publication. They are not updated. Further developments are therefore not taken into account.

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