California often serves as a bellwether, and now it’s ringing an alarm about a new electric grid vulnerability. While hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and tornadoes have been chief perpetrators of widespread U.S. power outages in the past, an even more devastating foe has emerged in California: wildfires. But there may be a cost-effective solution — energy-as-a-service microgrids.
California has become the first state where utilities shut off power preemptively for safety reasons. The concern? Sparks from utility wires have started some of the fires. The shutdowns left millions of Californians in the dark in October and November 2019, some for several days.
The outages crippled business activity, dealing a $2.5 billion blow to the state’s economy during just one, two-day shut-off. Most troubling, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), the state’s largest utility, has warned it may enact the outages repeatedly over the next decade—which would multiply the costs.
As other states brace for the impact of climate change, they watch California and wonder: Are they next?
This special report from Microgrid Knowledge and AlphaStruxure and highlights how the increasingly popular model — the energy-as-a-service microgrid — works, and what benefits it offers your business.