With Public Safety Power Shutoffs increasingly common in California to prevent the spread of wildfires, many are calling for more residential solar plus storage to help keep the lights on.
The Californian wildfire season has been devastating, with some 53,354 acres burned according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. This autumn, its estimated that three million state residents were left in the dark for days, as part of Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
Tanjent’s PowerBanx X battery storage, in pale grey enclosure (Image: Tanjent)
Shutoffs are being enacted by utilities Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison in order to minimise the spread of the fires. They have also been exacerbated by PG&E facing bankruptcy due to charges brought against the company for its role in previous fires such as the Camp Fire which killed 85 people. On Saturday, the company agreed to pay a US$13.5bn settlement to victims.
Many with solar panels in the state have been caught out by the fact that when the grid goes down, they cannot access the power generated on their own homes. As such, many are turning to solar plus storage solutions.