By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Locally founded environmental organization Resilient Palisades hopes to introduce microgrid technology to Pacific Palisades.
According to Ryan Craig, co-head of the Resilient Palisades Clean Energy Resilience team, the Palisades is one of the most underserved communities in the city from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
During a 2016 Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting, LADWP reported the community’s power outages are on average three to four times greater than other areas of the city. LADWP representatives indicated a need to provide additional distributed energy resource capacity to the Palisades.
“One obvious answer to the power problems in our sun-drenched community is a community microgrid,” according to the Resilient Palisades’ website.
Community microgrids consist of “nanogrids” distributed between households, businesses, schools and congregations with solar panels to produce electricity and batteries to store it. Once the equipment is in place, each of the nanogrids would be connected into one macrogrid, offering increased energy resiliency, reduced emissions and lower electricity bills, according to Craig.
Craig explained that a community microgrid would allow Palisadian homes and businesses to store tens of thousands of kilowatt hours of power; in the event of a blackout or natural disaster, the technology could help keep the power on for an extended period of time.
He referenced recent electricity blackouts in Texas due to extremely cold temperatures, adding the only sites that continued with power were the 200 microgrids across the state, many of which were used to keep hospitals, grocery stores and other facilities with power.
Craig said microgrid technology is relatively new and California is leading the way by incorporating the technology into already-built communities: Pacific Palisades might be the first to do so in Southern California.
Resilient Palisades is in the early stages of its two-phase approach. The team is currently working on educating the community and assessing levels of interest by asking residents to complete a survey.
Craig said the team hopes to return in the fall with different package offerings for home and business owners who would like to participate in the first phase of the plan, which includes the installation of the solar and storage islands.
The second phase connects the islands to the community microgrid in close coordination with LADWP. Craig said this will likely happen in a year or two.
“We have reached out to LADWP so we can have conversations with them about the requirements for achieving phase two,” Craig said to the Palisadian-Post. “LADWP does not currently have microgrids … policy changes, engineering changes will be required in order to launch the microgrid. We are having these conversations with DWP so that by the time we’re ready, hopefully they’ll be ready.”
Resilient Palisades’ Clean Energy team has 15 active members from the community, and the broader Resilient Palisades organization is hand-delivering postcards to every Palisades address to spread the word.
As the Post went to print Tuesday evening, Craig said 175 Palisadians had completed the survey and expressed interest in participating in the community microgrid.
For more information or to complete the survey, visit resilientpalisades.org/clean-energy-team.
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