Traditional wires-and-poles infrastructure carries the risk of transmission-sparked wildfires. This is a major concern across California and particularly in remote communities like Briceburg. Communities served by the grid are also subject to Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events as part of wildfire mitigation efforts. If these distribution lines were removed and the customers were served from a local and decentralized energy source, the reduction in overhead lines could lower fire ignition risk as an alternative to or in conjunction with system hardening.
Servicing customers from a local decentralized energy source became a sought after solution in the wake of a 2019 wildfire that destroyed distribution lines that served Briceburg. This case study explores the solution – which provides remote customers in Briceburg with a permanent, local decentralized energy source that could lower fire ignition risks.