By Sarah Lozanova, Solar PV Writer
Residents are buying generators and battery storage systems in anticipation of outages.
Millions of California residents are bracing themselves for wildfire season’s peak. Bone-dry air and high winds are a recipe for disaster—one that brings catastrophic losses and sudden evacuations. Sadly, some of the most destructive fires in the state’s history were likely ignited by sparks from utility lines and exacerbated by heat and dryness.
Utility shut-offs to prevent wildfires affect millions
There are concerns that the state’s power grid was neither adequately designed nor maintained for this intensely dry season fueled by climate change. To help safeguard communities, utility companies have implemented massive preemptive power shut-offs when the risk of wildfires is highest. These preventive measures help avoid costly property damage and save lives. However, the power shut-offs are widely criticized because these disruptions affect the daily lives of millions. Though short outages are inconvenient, many of these pre-emptive shut-offs have lasted days—or even weeks.
Blackouts upend daily life
Lengthy power outages are severely disruptive. In many cases, residents and business owners were unaware that their power would be turned off and were left unprepared. Without electricity, many houses do not have functional telecommunications, internet, refrigeration, air conditioning, medical equipment, hot water, or cooking. Businesses were forced to shut their doors during the power outages, leaving the community without essential services.
Image Credit: James Brooks
Californians Look to Home Batteries as Backup - Solar Energy
Freelance renewable energy writer