A Comparison of Fuel Choice for Backup Generators

Sean Ericson, Daniel Olis

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The costs of a power outage to a business can be substantial, so there is a growing interest in generators for reliable backup power. Businesses are either considering installing backup generators or redundant backup systems for added resilience against grid outages. This report discusses the costs and benefits of backup generator configurations, and compares the relative merits of grid-connected backup systems that enable financial benefits when the grid is functioning, versus backup-only systems that only generate energy for critical services when the primary grid is down. This report discusses how to assign value to the reliability of each system and the revenue streams related to backup generators.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages59
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A50-72509


  • distributed generation
  • grid outages
  • reliability
  • resilience


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