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John Benson's picture
Senior Consultant Microgrid Labs

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Microgrid Labs, Inc. Advisor: 2014 to Present Developed product plans, conceptual and preliminary designs for projects, performed industry surveys and developed...

  • Member since 2013
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  • Jan 21, 2021

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This post covers three subjects related to using microgrids to mitigate Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS): (1) a bill on its way through California’s Senate that hopes to help achieve this, (2) a recent ruling by the California PUC that “facilitates commercialization of microgrids across California, and strategies for procurement of backup power in advance of the wildfire season…”, and (3) how microgrids and distributed power might operate cost-effectively.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 21, 2021

The bill described below is basically just a slightly fleshed out concept, and it faces a long path through the legislature and (if it successful) onto Governor Newsom’s desk

If the bill is just a slightly fleshed out concept (and vulnerable to changes as it works through, as you note), do you think it carries the necessary teeth to get things done? 

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Jan 22, 2021

The bill, as it is now, is simply a method of distributing grants. The CPUC ruling creates the (initial) grants to help communities create microgrids. 

"This bill... would require the commission to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans."

However, since the bill's subject is resiliency and potentially microgrids (microgrids are mentioned only once in the bill, but the functions of microgrids (and picogrids) are inevitable).

However, given the normal California legislative processes, the bill will attract many amendments and debates.

The real meat of the process, once microgrids are funded, is in the earlier post, The Five Dimensions of Microgrids. The link to this is repeated below. 


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