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State of California

Climate idea

Microgrids Could Reduce California Power Shutoffs

Researchers report that isolated grids that produce their own power could support communities when the electricity goes out. But that reliability comes at a cost. Six of 20 of California’s largest wildfires in the last eight years were started by utility equipment. For about a decade, state regulators have therefore allowed utilities to proactively de-energize power lines to avoid triggering blazes. The policy prevents ignitions but comes with serious costs, like cutting off power to people who rely on electric medical devices and businesses that cannot operate without it. To help minimize the impacts of the shutoffs, the state is weighing an enticing potential solution: microgrids, which can isolate from the larger electric grid and produce their own power. A new study suggests that microgrids equipped with solar panels, a wind turbine, a gas engine and batteries could minimize the impact of power shutoffs for rural communities while keeping energy costs down and incorporating enough renewable energy to rival the amount currently flowing to California’s grid.

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26 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Grace Njeri



    53 w

    Microgrids offer the opportunity to deploy more zero-emission electricity sources, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Rashid Kamau



      53 w

      Microgrids are best for they provide efficient, low-cost, clean energy, enhance local resiliency, and improve the operation and stability of the regional electric grid.

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