Secure Your Power During Wildfire Season with Energy Storage Batteries

  • Posted on 2 June 2023
  • By Swell Energy & Sierra Club Angeles Chapter
Fire season in California can start as early as May, with the peak months being July through October. 
Be prepared! Secure your power with an energy storage battery. 
With this year’s wildfire season upon us, here’s some information to help you prepare and mitigate against likely power outages. Did you know In rural areas, wildfires threaten portions of the transmission grid and can, in some cases, threaten the stability of the grid itself? In urban areas, wildfires threaten both structures (homes and businesses) and the grid infrastructure that supply electricity to those structures.
High winds can bring tree branches, brush and debris into contact with live power lines that can damage equipment and ignite a wildfire. As a result, the utilities may need to turn off power during severe weather to help prevent wildfires. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff and they are prevalent in Southern CA during this time of year. 
Solar plus energy storage from Swell Energy can play a significant role in mitigating the impact of wildfire seasons in California. Here's how:
  1. Secure Power during Outages: Wildfires can cause power outages as a safety measure (Public Safety Power Shutoffs) or due to damaged infrastructure. Solar energy systems coupled with energy storage can provide a reliable and uninterrupted power supply during these outages. When paired with energy storage, solar panels continue to generate electricity even when the grid is down. The energy storage system stores excess solar energy for use during times of day when rates are highest, at night or when the sun is not shining.
  2. Off-Grid Emergency Power: In areas affected by wildfires, access to electricity may be limited or completely cut off. While normally connected to the grid, solar plus energy storage systems can function as off-grid power sources, providing electricity for essential needs like lighting, charging devices, running medical equipment, and operating communication systems. This can be particularly crucial for emergency response teams, evacuation centers, and homes in affected areas*.
  3. Grid Resilience: By integrating solar and energy storage into the grid, California can enhance its resilience against wildfires. In addition to providing homeowner resiliency during fire season, solar and energy storage can support critical infrastructure. During wildfire events, when power lines may need to be de-energized for safety reasons, localized solar and storage systems can provide power to hospitals, fire stations, water treatment plants, and emergency shelters. This reduces dependence on long-distance power transmission lines that are vulnerable to wildfires.
  4. Demand Response and Load Shifting: Energy storage systems can help manage the electricity demand during peak periods. By storing excess solar energy during the day and discharging it during the evening peak hours, energy storage helps reduce strain on the grid. This load shifting capability can be especially valuable during wildfire seasons when electricity demand is high due to air conditioning usage and firefighting efforts.
  5. Virtual Power Plants (VPP) for Resilient Communities: Solar plus energy storage systems can be combined with demand response technology to create localized, energy networks. These VPPs can operate independently from the main grid, ensuring energy storage batteries are optimized to provide a reliable power supply to homes and businesses during grid outages caused by wildfires. 
  6. Reduced Emissions and Climate Impact: By relying on solar energy instead of fossil fuel-based power sources, solar plus energy storage systems help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This contributes to mitigating climate change, which is closely linked to the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires. By adopting renewable energy solutions, California can work towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.
  7. It's worth noting that the effectiveness of solar plus energy storage systems in wildfire situations depends on factors such as system capacity, proper installation, and maintenance. Local regulations, incentives, and grid integration policies also play a role in maximizing the benefits of these technologies during wildfire seasons.
Don’t forget and tell your friends, Sierra Club members qualify to receive $500 cash back on the installation of energy storage and Swell Energy will donate up to $750 to Sierra Club Angeles on your behalf. Learn more at:
*The availability and amount of battery power for use during an outage can be limited and depends on loads, demand, and configuration. No certainty can be given that the solar system or battery will always work and should not solely be relied upon to power life sustaining medical devices. 

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