As early as 4 AM this morning, PG&E started cutting off the electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers. For California residents, this sort of powerlessness is becoming reluctantly routine.
In a press conference on Tuesday night, California energy company Pacific Gas and Electric gave details about the widespread outages set to hit California today.
"This is forecasted to be the strongest offshore wind event since October 2017," quoted Evan Duffey, a meteorologist for the utility.
"We very much understand the inconvenience and difficulties such a power outage would cause."
Things are about to get really dark, really fast. We're not just talking about lights. WiFi transmitters, televisions, and smart home devices are about to power down, too. Not to mention life-essential medical equipment, and lifts and elevators disabled residents depend on. For many, a power outage is not just an inconvenience. Electricity is a lifeline.
California news outlets encouraged residents to keep their phones charged, build a stockpile of batteries, fill gas tanks and have cash on hand (for when ATM machines power down as well.)
It's time to consider energy storage.
S&C Electric latest data agrees that more distributed grid resources need to be hooked up in order to adequately address reliability concerns. After S&C surveyed its customer base, 25 percent reported that they experienced monthly power outages, as the power grid system currently stands.
One vastly underused resource is the already-standing distributed network of home batteries, specifically across the California landscape. The growing unconnected-network of solar batteries in the residential sector could potentially compose an essential component of a smart, distributed grid with some ground work and participation. We hope that the future of energy resilience will include a grass-roots effort to team up with utility companies to help make our power systems more secure, together.
But homeowners don’t need to wait for this day to come--the time for personal energy security is already here. In-home solar-plus-energy storage systems are already a viable, economical option for homes seeking energy security, and Swell believes that everyone should have the opportunity to protect their home from a grid outage.
That’s why Swell developed EnergyShield, the world’s first solar + storage energy security plan. To make sure everyone can access the peace of mind that comes with back-up power, EnergyShield plans start at just $1 a day.
Interested in being part of California’s more distributed energy future? Get more information on EnergyShield here, and join the distributed energy revolution.