Friday, September 29, 2023

Unprecedented microgrid operation brings power back to Del Norte County, California

After a series of fires threatened critical infrastructure in Del Norte County, California, including the only transmission lines supplying power to the area, Pacific Power and other utilities conducted an unprecedented microgrid operation to restore power to the county. The fires left the county without power for more than three weeks, forcing businesses to close and residents relying on emergency measures such as generators and radios to communicate.

With help from Pacific Gas & Electric, Pacific Power installed large generators and set up microgrids to provide temporary power to homes and businesses in Del Norte County. The microgrids operated independently of the transmission lines threatened by the fire, ensuring a continuous supply of energy. Within a week, all residents who were not evacuated had power back. Backup power continued uninterrupted until main lines were safely restored almost a month later.

This large-scale microgrid operation, powered by commercial generators, was an unprecedented response to the crisis. It covered all of the county’s electricity needs, ensured the safety of residents and limited damage caused by wildfires. State Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire praised the operation as a remarkable achievement.

Microgrid operations were implemented within days, with local, state, federal and utility officials coordinating emergency response efforts. Emergency shelters with power plants, air conditioning and water supplies were set up, and small generators were provided to medically vulnerable residents. Essential businesses such as supermarkets and gas stations were given priority when power was restored.

The Del Norte County microgrid operation serves as a model for future emergency response in similar situations. Demonstrates the ability to quickly provide power to communities that are disconnected from the power grid due to natural disasters or other emergencies.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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