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California tests off-the-grid solutions to power outages

Power Outages Microgrids
Posted at 12:30 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 15:30:58-04

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A cycle of extreme heat, drought and wildfires is threatening California's power supply.

In the past two years, windstorms led utilities to deliberately shut off power to wide swaths of the state to lower the risk of power lines igniting wildfires. The state last summer ran out of energy when an oppressive heat wave triggered the first rolling blackout in 20 years.

To improve energy resilience, utilities and small communities are installing microgrids that can disconnect from the larger electrical grid and switch to using solar energy generated and stored locally.

Other tactics include increased electricity costs during high-demand hours and energy conservation incentives when the grid is strained.