The Palisadian-Post has partnered with locally founded environmental nonprofit Resilient Palisades to deliver a weekly “green tip” to our readers. This week’s tip was written by Doug Macmillan.
Hurricane Ida knocked out 6,000 transformers, leaving over 400,000 people without power and estimated to take weeks to restore.
You can protect yourself from weather disasters that are more likely to hit us in SoCal, e.g., strong winds. Here’s how I did it.
Our gravel roof was getting old, so I replaced it with a Tesla solar roof. I removed superfluous roof penetrations that were no longer needed, increasing our roof’s surface area to maximize power generation.
When the grid is down, we use two 5kW Tesla Powerwalls to provide our family enough overnight power to keep our house operating as usual, including all of our lights, TV, kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, and heat pump. By mid-day the next day, the sun has fully recharged our Powerwalls.
Our house is a modest 1,300 square feet. It generates a peak of 12kW mid-summer while using only 1kW. On the cloudiest day, our roof still generates enough power to charge the batteries and run the house. An average sunny day generates enough to fully power two additional houses of the same size.
Edison will pay customers the wholesale rate for the excess power they generate. LADWP will only credit you for excess power.
When considering a solar panel installation project, I highly recommend considering future uses, such as conversion of one or more appliances from natural gas to electric and one or more electric vehicles. If it’s worth doing, it is worth overdoing. Also consider extra batteries to bank the power you generate in times of sustained blackouts.
Almost half of California’s power comes from fossil fuels—natural gas. In drought years, our hydro dams are less productive, so we have to source energy from nearby states, including coal-generated power plants. Palisadians can surely do better to create a cleaner and more reliable grid.
Install solar and take advantage of the generous tax rebates while they last. Electricity prices will continue to rise due to increased demands from climate change.
Resilient Palisades’ Clean Energy Resilience team is launching a Pali microgrid in our community. Working with a UC Berkeley energy consultant, we will soon be providing Palisadians the best vendors to install solar and/or storage batteries at the lowest possible prices. Tell us about your family’s needs by completing the survey at resilientpalisades.org/survey.
Stay tuned for my upcoming green tip: Driving on Sunshine.
Questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.