Turns out Democrats and Republicans agree on something – microgrids

by Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge


Highlights

Massachusettes based think tank, Civil Society Institute, conducted a survey that shows Independents, Democrats, and Republican voters have an interest in microgrids:

  • Around 1,000 voters were surveyed and more than half had never heard of the concept
  • After receiving a short description of the concept, more people became interested to learn more about microgrids and how they pertained to issues such as climate change, grid security, and grid modernization

microgrids

    Image from Civil Society Institute, Sourced from Microgrid Knowledge
  • Bipartisan support could eventually lead to the adoption of more microgrids 

The Climate Center has launched a new initiative supporting clean and smart community microgrids to build community energy resilience. The initiative, called “Advanced Community Energy,” will establish a decentralized power system of community microgrids built from the bottom up with clean power and storage to reduce the number of outages both planned and unplanned. 


Read more: https://microgridknowledge.com/microgrids-voters-survey/

Legislative Update for March 12, 2020

Below are several selected upcoming committee hearings and several, but not all, of the key bills we are tracking. For a complete list of the 44 bills we are currently tracking in 2020, click HERE. Please send updates, suggestions, corrections to info[at]cleanpowerexchange.org. Our next update will be published here on March 26.

SPECIAL NOTE: Due to the Corona Virus situation, legislative hearings are being canceled. Please check committee websites for latest updates.

Key Committees and Committee Hearings
Assembly Bills

AB 56 (Garcia) OPPOSE – This holdover bill from 2019 would empower the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to order energy procurement based on real or perceived shortcomings in the Integrated Resource Plans submitted by Investor Owned Utilities, Direct Access providers, and CCAs. The bill will allow the CPUC to require procurement on any perceived deficiency that may be 12 years in the future. This makes no sense, given that so much lead time would allow a CCA to address any potential problem. This bill needlessly expands the CPUC energy procurement ordering authority and forces the State Treasurer’s Office to take on unwanted energy procurement responsibilities. This bill will financially harm ratepayers by saddling them with expensive and unnecessary long-term energy contracts, compromise local efforts to reach higher greenhouse gas reduction goals, and strip away local energy decision making from 170 cities and counties that are currently serving more than 10 million people through Community Choice Energy. Read the Center’s July 2019 Letter of Opposition, which remains relevant.

STATUS: In the Senate Energy Committee. No activity since 2019.

AB 235 (Mayes) WATCH – This 2019 holdover bill would allow PG&E to issue bonds to cover 2017, 2018 wildfire liabilities that ratepayers could ultimately have to pay for, and allows the CPUC to arbitrarily set a limit on the amount a transmission & distribution utility must pay as a result of catastrophic wildfire that may have been the result of their infrastructure.

STATUS: In the Senate Committee process. No activity since 2019.

AB 345 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – This bill will, if enacted, establish regulations to protect public health and safety near oil and gas extraction facilities,  including a minimum setback distance between oil and gas activities and sensitive receptors such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, residences, hospitals, and health clinics. See The Climate Center’s Letter of Support.

STATUS: In the Senate. Read first time. Sent to the Senate Rules Committee for assignment to a policy committee.

AB 1839 (Bonta) WATCH – The “Green New Deal” bill. Introduced on January 6, this bill would create the California Green New Deal Council with a specified membership appointed by the Governor. The bill would require the California Green New Deal Council to submit a specified report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2022. So far the plan is scant on specifics including how goals will be met or how much the State will pay to meet those goals.

STATUS: Introduced in January 6. No committee assignment yet. The bill has not been scheduled for a hearing.  The Climate Center is still assessing the bill and has not yet taken a position.

AB 1847 (Levine) WATCH – This bill would authorize the CPUC (contingent on the Commission finding that an electrical corporation is not complying with State law, rules, or regulations) to appoint a public administrator to the electrical corporation for a period not to exceed 180 days. The bill would vest the public administrator with oversight authority over the electrical corporation’s activities that impact public safety. See the bill author’s factsheet.

STATUS: In the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee. No hearing date set.

AB 2689 (Kalra) WATCH – This bill updates Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) confidentiality provisions to allow a broader range of market experts to participate in complex IOU cost recovery proceedings and supports California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) oversight to protect customers from unreasonable or unjustified IOU rate increases. California IOU electric generation rates have increased 49% since 2013. Between 2008 and 2018, IOU customer rates doubled from $29.3 billion to $59.3 billion per year. AB 2689 would result in greater IOU accountability and improved consumer protection, safety, and affordability. The California Community Choice Association is a sponsor of this bill.

STATUS: In the Assembly Rules Committee.

AB 2789 (Kamlager) WATCH – This bill would appropriate $1,500,000 and require the CPUC, in consultation with the CA Energy Commission, to request the California Council on Science and Technology to undertake and complete a study, as specified, relative to electrical grid outages and cost avoidance resulting from deployment of eligible renewable energy resources, battery storage systems, and demand response technologies. The bill would require the PUC to report the results of the study to the Legislature by January 1, 2022.

STATUS: Set for a hearing on March 25 in the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee

AB 3014 (Muratsuchi) WATCH – This bill evolves the state’s resource adequacy (RA) program to improve the reliability of California electric supply. Specifically, this bill creates the Central Reliability Authority (CRA), a non-profit public benefit corporation, to purchase residual RA needed to meet state requirements while still allowing load-serving entities (LSEs), such as Community Choice Agencies (CCAs), to maintain their procurement autonomy. The newly created CRA also reduces costly RA purchases currently undertaken by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and greatly enhances the RA market. The California Community Choice Association is a sponsor of this bill.

STATUS: In the Assembly Rules Committee.

AB 3021 (Ting) – This bill would appropriate $300,000,000 per fiscal year in the 2020–21, 2021–22, and 2022–23 fiscal years from the General Fund to the California Energy Commission to administer a program to provide resiliency grant funding and technical assistance to local educational agencies for the installation of energy storage systems.

STATUS: Double-referred to Education and Natural Resources committees.

AB 3251 (Bauer-Kahan) WATCH – This bill would require that charging of energy storage systems be treated as load in calculations for demand response programs, and that capacity from energy storage systems installed on the customer side of the meter be allowed to be aggregated for purposes of determining resource adequacy capacity; and electricity exported to the grid from the customer side of the meter be allowed to count toward the capacity obligations of load-serving entities.

STATUS: In Assembly, referred to Asm Energy Committee. Set for hearing on March 25.

Senate Bills

SB 45 (Allen, et al) SUPPORT – Dubbed the “Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020.” This is a proposed $5.51 billion general obligation bond to be placed on the November 3, 2020 statewide general election. Specifically, $570 million will be made available for climate resiliency initiatives including microgrids, distributed generation, storage systems, in-home backup power, and community resiliency centers such as cooling centers, clean air centers, hydration stations, and emergency shelters. The bill includes a provision for grants to local agencies, state agencies, special districts, joint powers authorities, tribes, and vulnerable populations to incentivize installation of microgrids, distributed generation and storage systems, or in-home backup power systems, powered by clean energy systems that provide continuity of electrical service in response to, or anticipation of, disruption due to public safety power shutoffs, wildfire, or other disaster.

STATUS: Passed out of Senate, in the Assembly. Held at the desk.

SB 350 (Hertzberg) OPPOSE – This bill would “authorize the CPUC to consider a multiyear centralized resource adequacy mechanism,” meaning, a central buyer, which would encroach on CCA statutory authority on procurement autonomy. This bill is a tandem bill with AB 56.

STATUS: In the Assembly committee process. No activity since 2019.

SB 378 (Wiener) WATCH – Would establish customer and local government protections related to Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) incidents. Specifically, the bill requires IOUs to provide annual reports to the Wildfire Safety Division within the CPUC on the condition of their electrical equipment and provide maintenance logs to assess fire safety risk. The bill also requires the CPUC to develop procedures for consumers and local governments to recover costs from IOUs accrued during PSPS events, improves PSPS notification procedures, and makes IOUs subject to civil fines if the CPUC determines that the IOU failed to act in a reasonable and prudent manner.

STATUS: Voted out of Sen. Approps Committee on Jan. 23. Heard on Assembly floor January 27, but being held pending committee referral.

SB 702 (Hill) – This bill would amend section 399.13 of the Public Utilities Code to authorize a retail seller of electricity to rely on contracts of 10 years or more in duration or ownership agreements entered into directly by its end-use customer for eligible renewable energy resources located on the customer side of the meter to satisfy the portion of the 65% requirement attributable to the retail sales of that end-use customer.

STATUS: Out of the Senate as of January 23. Now in Assembly. Read first time. Held pending committee referral.

SB 774 (Stern) WATCH – SB 774 would require IOUs to collaborate with the State’s Office of Emergency of Services and others to identify where back-up electricity sources may provide increased electrical distribution grid resiliency and would allow the IOUs to file applications with the CPUC to invest in, and deploy, microgrids to increase resiliency. Concerns focus on too much control being placed in the hands of the IOUs over microgrid development when other LSEs and stakeholders can and should play a role.

STATUS: In the Assembly committee process with no committee assignment and no hearing date.

SB-801 (Glazer, McGuire) – Electrical corporations: wildfire mitigation plans: de-energization: public safety protocol. This bill would require an electrical corporation to deploy backup electrical resources or provide financial assistance for backup electrical resources to a customer receiving a medical baseline allowance if the customer meets those conditions.

STATUS: In the Senate Energy Committee set for March 17 hearing. Removed from agenda.

SB 917 (Wiener) WATCH – This bill renames the California Consumer Energy and Conservation Financing Authority and via eminent domain takes control of PG&E to create the Northern California Energy Utility District and a public benefit corporation, Northern California Energy Utility Services, to carry out day to day operations. The key provision of the bill that is relevant to Community Choice Energy is: “10623: The authority of a community choice aggregator to provide electric service within the service territory of the district shall remain as if the district were an electrical corporation.”

STATUS: On February 12, triple-referred to Senate Energy, Govt & Finance, and Judiciary Committees.

SB 947 (Dodd) SUPPORT – This bill would require the California Public Utilities Commission to evaluate financial performance-based incentives and performance-based metric tracking to identify mechanisms that may serve to better align electrical corporation operations, expenditures, and investments with public benefit goals.

STATUS: Hearing set for March 17 in Senate Energy Committee  Postponed due to Corona Virus.

SB 1215 (Stern) – SB 1215, the “California Emergency Services Act” establishes the Office of Emergency Services in the office of the Governor and provides that the office is responsible for the state’s emergency and disaster response services for natural, technological, or manmade disasters and emergencies.

STATUS: In Senate, double-referred to the Governmental Organization and Energy Committees.

SB 1240 (Skinner) SUPPORT – This bill would require the California Energy Commission, in consultation with the California Independent System Operator, to identify and evaluate options for transforming the electrical corporations’ (Investor Owned Utilities’) distribution grids into more open access platforms that would allow local governments and other third parties to participate more easily in grid activities, as provided. The bill would require the commission to update the identification and evaluation at least once every two years. The bill would require the commission, beginning January 1, 2022, and biennially thereafter, to submit to the Legislature a report on the identification and evaluation of options. The Climate Center is a sponsor of this bill. For more details, see Kurt Johnson’s blog in this edition of e-news.

STATUS: In Senate – referred to Senate Energy Committee. Scheduled for a hearing on March 31.

SB 1258 (Stern) WATCH – Titled the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act, this bill would enact the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act to require the California Infrastructure Bank (IBank), in consultation with specified agencies to administer the Climate Catalyst Revolving Fund, which the bill would establish to provide financial assistance to eligible climate catalyst projects.

STATUS: Set for a hearing in the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on March 30.

SB 1314 (Dodd) SUPPORT – SB 1314, the Community Energy Resilience Act of 2020, would require the Strategic Growth Council to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans. The bill would set forth guiding principles for plan development, including equitable access to reliable energy, as provided, and integration with other existing local planning documents. The bill would require a plan to, among other things, ensure a reliable electricity supply is maintained at critical facilities and identify areas most likely to experience a loss of electrical service. The bill would require the council to establish a stakeholder review board to provide statewide oversight for purposes of the grant program. The bill would require a local government, as a condition of receiving grant funding, to submit its plan and a report of project expenditures to the stakeholder review board within six months of completing the plan. The bill would require the stakeholder review board to annually report specified information about the grant program to the Legislature. The Climate Center is a sponsor of this bill. For more details, see Kurt Johnson’s blog in this edition of e-news.

STATUS: Double-referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committees. It is calendared for the Natural Resources Committee on April 14; Energy Committee, April 21.

Climate Center and partners: New Utility Reform and Clean Energy Resilience bills

URGENT: Have your organization sign on here to support utility reform and clean community energy resilience. Individuals, please reach out to your state elected officials here.

A key priority of The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe CA effort is to advance the ability of local governments to create fossil fuel-free, safe, resilient and accessible local electricity systems.

Technology advances — including rapidly-declining costs for solar and battery storage — are making it possible to build an entirely new decentralized, integrated electricity grid.  This will require utility regulatory reform and new funding to empower local governments to be in charge of siting decisions about new energy infrastructure, rather than communities having decisions imposed upon them by distant corporate decisionmakers. Governor Newsom recently articulated some of the needed principles for this vision, echoing policy proposals that have been recommended by The Climate Center and partner organizations.

The Climate Center, in collaboration with Advanced Community Energy (ACE) initiative partners, recently advanced two bills in the California legislature to achieve these policy priorities:

  • SB 1314  (Introduced by Senator Bill Dodd). The Community Energy Resilience Act requires the Strategic Growth Council to develop and implement a grant program for local governments interested in developing clean energy-based community energy resilience plans.
    • Why the bill is needed: Climate change-driven drought and fire conditions, along with dangerously outdated electricity infrastructure, led to costly power shutoffs in 2019. In the wake of last year’s disasters and facing future shutoffs, utilities and local governments are scrambling to find solutions that keep the electricity flowing. Unfortunately, dirty fossil fuel back-up generators are being installed in towns, businesses and community facilities across the state. These short-term electricity sources are counter to state goals for greenhouse gas reductions, environmental protection, and public health and safety. Today’s cost-effective, clean and decentralized clean energy resources can provide a better solution:  when grid power is down, microgrids can disconnect from the larger grid to provide reliable clean power to key facilities such as fire stations and schools.  SB 1314 would initially prioritize funding lower-income communities in fire prone regions to plan for clean energy resilience. For additional information, see the recently released report by Vote Solar as well as the Community Energy Resilience Act Budget Request Letter submitted to legislators by The Climate Center and partners.
  • SB 1240 (Introduced by Senator Nancy Skinner). This bill would require the California Energy Commission, in consultation with the California Independent System Operator (which manages the flow of electricity into and across the state), to identify and evaluate options for transforming the electricity distribution system to becoming an open local electricity market.
    • Why the bill is needed: The basic architecture of our electricity system hasn’t changed over the past hundred years, notwithstanding substantial technological advancements.  Power no longer flows one way, from distant large power plants to cities and homes. It is now possible for power to flow back and forth locally within a distribution system.    With the implementation of the state’s renewable energy goals, the growth of smart appliances and electric vehicles, and dramatically declining prices for clean energy, a cleaner, decentralized grid is now possible – which would require substantial changes in how our electricity system is managed. This new legislation, if passed, would speed the transition to a 21st century decentralized and clean electricity system. For additional information, read this Vox article.

We are grateful to Senators Dodd and Skinner for their leadership.  To help secure passage, we need organizations across California to register their support for these two bills.   Click here to add your organization to the list of supporters.

Solar Panel Power Generation. by mrganso found on https://www.needpix.com/photo/1123513/photovoltaic-system-solar-solar-energy-solar-panel-photovoltaic-renewable-energy-revolution-power-generation-solar-field

In this new solar-powered apartment complex, all 600 units have batteries that form a virtual power plant

by Adele Peters, Fast Company


Highlights:

A Salt Lake City apartment complex, named Soleil Lofts, is the first to incorporate solar plus storage into every unit.

  • The local utility will use solar and storage as a virtual power plant and will avoid using fossil fuels during peak hours
  • The developing company, Wasatch Group, used batteries from Sonnen, Inc. which are installed in all 600 units
  • The Wasatch Group saw investing in solar power and batteries as the right thing to do for the region, which is already experiencing climate impacts including worsening wildfires and droughts
  • The apartment complex includes 100 electric vehicle charging stations as well as 12.6 Megawatts of battery storage 

The Climate Center’s Advanced Community Energy initiative employs microgrids for resilience and carbon-free power with storage.


Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/90394337/in-this-new-solar-powered-apartment-complex-all-600-units-have-batteries-that-form-a-virtual-power-plant

The Climate Center Lauds Governor Newsom’s Energy Vision: Proposes Details on How to Implement Vision

Santa Rosa, CA – The Climate Center lauds Governor Newsom for the high-level vision articulated in his energy, climate and wildfire speech earlier today before the Public Policy Institute of California.

“Kudos to Governor Newsom for articulating a compelling vision for a clean, decentralized, reliable, safe and affordable future electricity system in California,” said Ellie Cohen, CEO of The Climate Center.

The Governor explained how the PG&E bankruptcy provides an enormous opportunity for the state and that we need a utility that is “transformatively different.”  He described the next phase in utility system evolution as decentralization with an increase in local energy generation and storage.  He spoke about the need for a collaborative mindset, big structural changes and a focus on integrated solutions — for example, electric vehicle fleets as mobile supplies of stored energy.  The Governor also emphasized how the clean energy transition must continue to create jobs, and that a greener, more reliable electricity system must not be more expensive for California’s least well-off and most vulnerable citizens.

The Governor framed his remarks by explaining how former Governors Schwarzenegger and Brown had focused on the “what” and the “why” of energy policy.  He is committing his administration to be focused on the “how.”

The Governor’s speech today comes on the heels of the new State Policy Roadmap issued earlier this week by Vote Solar, Reimagine Power and The Climate Center to guide California State lawmakers on the “how.” The roadmap details proposals that align with the vision Governor Newsom outlined today, proposals that would accelerate the transition to a greenhouse gas-free electricity system, transform the outdated investor-owned utility business model to distributed energy resources, and modernize the power system including rapidly deploying clean energy community microgrids.

The Governor’s goals articulated today also align with the Climate Center’s Community Energy Resiliency Program to create local electric systems – carbon-free, safe, resilient and accessible to all – in every community throughout California, and to build local capacity to address climate change.

Now is an ideal time for the state to establish a forward-looking electricity system that benefits all of our communities and helps secure a climate-safe California. A community-based, greenhouse gas-free electricity network will advance state goals for polluting greenhouse gas emissions reduction, building electrification and sustainable transportation while also supporting the transition of workers and their families to the clean energy economy.

“The Climate Center’s energy policy proposals speak directly to the “how” of implementing Governor Newsom’s priorities,“ said CEO Ellie Cohen.  “We look forward to learning more details about his vision for a 21st Century utility system and working with the Governor’s office to realize our common, and urgently needed, vision.”


Click here to see Governor Newsom’s recent speech on energy, wildfires, climate change, and California’s future.


About The Climate Center

The Climate Center is a 501(c)(3) organization working to enact rapid decarbonization policies that put California on track to reverse the climate crisis, through net-zero emissions, carbon-sequestration, and resilient communities.  The Climate Center’s Community Energy Resilience initiative supports the creation of local electricity systems — greenhouse gas-free, safe, resilient and accessible to all — in every community in California. The Climate Center played a key role in the tremendous growth of Community Choice Agencies (CCAs) in California, with 19 CCAs now providing 88% clean energy to 11 million residents.


Contact:
Kurt Johnson, The Climate Center, kurt@theclimatecenter.org, 970-729-5051

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New policy roadmap to combat wildfires, prevent power shutoffs and increase community resilience

Oakland, CA — Climate and clean energy experts released a new policy roadmap today to guide California state policymakers who want to use clean energy to combat wildfires and power outages. The roadmap details proposals that would accelerate the clean energy transition, transform the outdated investor-owned utility business model, and modernize the power system.

“The 2020 wildfire season might seem far off to some, but the state is already taking action to prepare and improve our defenses,” said Susannah Churchill, California Director for Vote Solar. “Many households, businesses, and local governments are worried about future power outages and are deciding now how to meet their backup power needs. Time is of the essence for enacting state policies that help them choose resilient and safe clean energy instead of dirty and dangerous fossil fuel backup generators.”

On January 10th, Governor Newsom released his proposed state budget, which included some funding for enhancing grid resilience. He also recently announced his intention to release a comprehensive vision for a 21st-century electric utility.

“Now is an ideal time for the state to establish a forward-looking electricity system that benefits all of our communities and helps secure a climate-safe California,” said Ellie Cohen, CEO of The Climate Center. “PG&E’s bankruptcy and the havoc created by recent power outages provide a unique political opportunity to create a decentralized electric utility system that is clean, affordable, resilient, equitable, and safe. This community-based, greenhouse gas-free network will advance state goals for pollution reduction, building electrification, and sustainable transportation while also supporting the transition of workers and their families to the clean energy economy.”

“It’s exciting to see such a focus on resiliency in the Governor’s proposed budget. Climate change and PSPS have devastated our local communities and the state needs to take decisive action to mitigate those impacts. The technologies and solutions to build California’s grid of the future exist today. They can be deployed quickly and cost-effectively to address the needs of communities,” said Allie Detrio, Chief Strategist for Reimagine Power and Senior Advisor to the Microgrid Resources Coalition. “With public and private investment channeled through the right market mechanisms, we can transform our antiquated electric grid to a much more technologically advanced, clean and safe grid. One that is decarbonized, diversified, resilient, and sustainable. But that will not happen if our policymakers don’t have the political will to make big changes to the utility business model.”

The policy roadmap outlines a broad set of clean energy policies that the state could enact to address wildfires and power shutoffs, while also addressing the climate crisis. The roadmap is organized under four broad topics:

  1. Accelerate our commitment to procuring renewable energy and decarbonizing the economy through clean technologies
  2. Transform the regulatory and business model for Investor Owned Utilities to promote the deployment and integration of clean, distributed energy
  3. Support modernization of the electricity grid that supports the rapid deployment and coordination of customer- and community-sited clean energy projects, including microgrids
  4. Other policies and programs that can help reduce the impact of wildfire risk and power outages

 Proposed policies range from adopting performance-based utility regulation and helping local governments conduct energy resilience planning, to supporting the development of community resilience hubs and other means of quickly deploying resilient clean energy resources such as solar and wind coupled with battery storage, prioritizing projects targeting lower-income communities and communities of color in high fire-risk areas.

Download the full roadmap here.

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About The Climate Center

The Climate Center is a 501(c)(3) organization working to enact rapid decarbonization policies that put California on track to reverse the climate crisis, through net-zero emissions, carbon-sequestration, and resilient communities.  The Climate Center’s Community Energy Resilience initiative supports the creation of local electricity systems — greenhouse gas-free, safe, resilient and accessible to all — in every community in California. The Climate Center played a key role in the tremendous growth of Community Choice Aggregations (CCAs) in California, with 19 CCAs now providing 88% clean energy to 11 million residents.

About Vote Solar

Vote Solar’s mission is to make solar a mainstream energy resource across the U.S. Since 2002, Vote Solar has been working to lower solar costs and expand solar access. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Vote Solar advocates for state policies and programs needed to repower our electric grid with clean energy. Vote Solar works to remove regulatory barriers and implement key policies needed to bring solar to scale. For more information, visit​ VoteSolar.org.

About Reimagine Power

Reimagine Power Inc is a consulting firm focused on intelligence, market strategy and advocacy for microgrids and sustainable energy policy in the west coast. Reimagine Power’s carefully selected clientele consists of top tier innovators and thought leaders in advanced clean energy that are reimagining the power sector.

Workers install portions of the 8.5 megawatt-per-hour battery system at Fort Carson, Colorado. Huntsville Center’s Energy Savings Performance Contracting program coordinated the project designed to reduce peak electricity use costs, especially during the summer cooling season. (Photo by Scott Clark) found on by Scott Clark, found on https://www.hnc.usace.army.mil/Media/Images/igphoto/2002081389/

PG&E’s fossil fuel-powered microgrids

by Kavya Balaraman, Utility Dive


Highlights:

  • The towns of Angwin, Calistoga, Placerville, and Grass Valley are part of PG&E’s effort to build a network of “resilience zones” and temporary microgrids in portions of its service territory that are especially vulnerable to fire-related outages. PG&E deployed 23 MW of temporary generation from fossil fuel power (diesel) in the four towns powering fire stations, medical centers, and business districts.
  • PG&E is looking for projects that can deploy between 4 MW and 69.9 MW  for four or five consecutive days without any load drop and be able to meet peak and minimum customer demand throughout that period. Some feel that 100% renewables plus storage is not tenable with these requirements
  • “We think you could do clean energy —​ it’s a mix of generation, batteries and demand response,” Sierra Club’s Amezcua said, adding that PG&E’s plans for its resilience zones needs to be consistent with the state’s air quality and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

The Climate Center’s Advanced Community Energy program employs microgrids for resilience and carbon-free power with storage.


Read more: https://www.utilitydive.com/news/pge-microgrid-public-safety-shutoffs-offers-distributed-energy-request-fossil-fuel-reliance/571017/

 

Amid shut-off woes, a beacon of energy

By Scott Wilson, Washington Post

BLUE LAKE, Calif. — After months of wildfires, an essential question in a warming, windy California is this: How does the state keep the lights on? A tiny Native American tribe, settled here in the Mad River Valley, has an answer.

Build your own utility.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2020/01/01/amid-shut-off-woes-beacon-energy/?arc404=true

On the Path by 2025 to Rapid Decarbonization in California (pdf)

On Path by 2025 to Rapid Decarb in CA The Climate Center Jan 2019

Community Microgrids: Four examples of local energy that improves lives

by Lena Goodwin, Microgrid Knowledge

Community microgrids offer a way for neighborhoods, villages, towns and cities to meet their energy needs locally. Some make a community’s electricity more reliable and green; others serve critical facilities like fire, police and water treatment facilities; and still others are built for remote outposts that otherwise lack access to electricity.

Because their development can be complex, community microgrids often take more time to build than microgrids for businesses, institutions or campuses. So there are fewer in operation. But they are beginning to emerge worldwide. Here are four model community microgrids that illustrate a range of approaches to local energy.

Read more: https://microgridknowledge.com/community-microgrids-examples/