Bill Would Require CPUC To Allow Microgrids To Keep Local Power Up During SCE Blackouts – Early Fire Evacs Predicted
Written by 991KBU on May 15, 2020
Fire season is right around the corner … and with it the renewed likelihood of intentional power outages as Southern California Edison tries to reduce the chance that its lines will trigger another destructive fire.
Some Malibu leaders have bene trying to find away to allow Malibu to break off from the Edison system … to allow Malibu to keep the lights on with solar power and underground lines.
It’s along term dream … it would take years.
It would also need some changes in state law .. to even start.
Malibu’s state senator has introduced a proposed bill that would start the process.
Senator Henry Stern has introduced Senate Bill 1215.
That proposed law would remove so-called microgrids from the control of the California Public Utilities Commission.
This would allow a neighborhood of houses to set up solar panels on rooftops … and cross-connect power lines to form a microgrid netowrk that would be impervious to power outages during wind storms.
For example … a neighborhood with underground power lines could keep those lines hot using solar power from rooftops and and batteries … when the Southern California Edison system goes down for mulitiple days due to a public safety power shutoff.
Stern’s idea is to develop microgrid service standards necessary to meet state and local permitting requirements … and to reduce barriers for microgrid deployment without shifting costs between ratepayers.
Stern’s microgrid bill … SB 1215 … goes before the Malibu City Council for an endorsement next week.
When a wildfire strikes … areas like Malibu may see emergency evacuation orders sooner than previosuly …. because of the COVID virus.
Evacuation procedures … and setting up shelters will have to change because of the COVID-19 outbreak
So far, the number of wildfires has increased 60% over this time last year, largely blamed on a lack of rain particularly in Northern California and quickly drying brush.
The Ventura Count Star reports that the public health orders … are to avoid large, group settings where the virus may more easily spread.
So what to do when hundreds of people flee in a disaster ???
Instead of heading to a gym or a community center lined with cots, a shelter may look more like a campground with tents.
Shelters may be farther away and there may be a lot more of them to allow for physical distancing.
And the director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services says the state may evacuate areas sooner.
When a gym is used, people still need to be separated. Partitions might go up and air cleaners brought in. In some cases, people might get hotel vouchers instead.
That story was based on reporting by the Ventura County Star.