One of the goals of Resilient Palisades is to ensure the community of Pacific Palisades is utilizing solar power, and then to establish a microgrid.
A microgrid is a local electrical network that includes homes or businesses with solar panels on the rooftops, a means of storing electrical energy and a control system to distribute and monitor the energy — locally.
If there is a power outage, the microgrid can disconnect from the main electrical grid, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and still function. The control system would distribute stored energy to homes and businesses that are part of the grid, allowing them to keep at least some electrical appliances running.
Ryan Craig, who heads the Pali Microgrid initiative for Resilient Palisades, writes that they have been doing outreach to residents and local businesses, schools and other institutions.
First, solar panels would be installed, followed by a nanogrid system with battery storage.
The second phase would be to interconnect the nanogrids into one or more community-wide microgrids — that would become the Pali Microgrid.
Last fall, postcards were sent to every Palisades residence and to most apartment buildings about going solar. Craig also presented the microgrid idea at the Community Council, the Palisades Democratic Club and various homeowner associations.
People were asked to sign up if they were interested and about 500 people did. After a more recent outreach on January 24, another 25 signed up and “we’re hoping for hundreds more,” Craig said.
“The Pali Microgrid project aims to dramatically increase local solar electricity generation in the Palisades, reduce emissions, save money and increase energy resilience for our community.”
After asking for requests for proposals from numerous solar companies, four were selected by Resilient Palisades and will present via Zoom on February 3. “They will answer any and all questions about the process,” Craig said. (Visit: https://resilientpalisades.org/events/microgrid-info-1/)
“We’re planning to educate the community on the benefits of solar and storage,” Craig said, noting that with this initiative there is group pricing plus additional benefits. “The goal for this year is to help hundreds of additional Palisadians to install solar and battery storage.”
The plan in 2023 is to work with LADWP to connect Palisades solar customers to the first microgrid.
Craig was asked about the new rules that were proposed by the California Public Utilities Commission to make rooftop solar more expensive.
“The silver lining for Palisadians is that CPUC only governs investor-owned utilities like Southern California Edison and PG&E,” Craig said, noting that new rules won’t apply directly to municipal-owned utilities like LADWP. “But once these rules are implemented, the trend will be clear: California utilities have a green light to make rooftop solar more costly. If you think you might want solar and battery storage for your home to increase resilience and do your part to combat climate change, the time for solar is now.”
If a resident is curious about cost, there’s a pricing grid from selected vendors on the Palisades Resilient website: