The first all-electric, solar-and-battery powered microgrid community in California

The houses involved in these communities are equipped with backup battery storage, bidirectional electric vehicle charging capabilities, and perhaps most importantly, are interconnected, creating a resilient energy network.

More than 200 state-of-the-art, all electric homes will be solar powered, equipped with individual battery storage and connected to a microgrid powered by a large, shared community battery.


From the linked article…
Every home, while maintaining its regular service with local utility Southern California Edison, is designed to operate during an outage as part of a self-supporting microgrid, drawing energy from its own SunVault storage system as well as a large community battery.

The homes will continue to get power from SCE and will stay connected to the reliable grid. It is not just solar and batteries, but also natural gas, hydro, nuclear, wind and from whatever other sources SCE gets its power. California imports about 30% of its electricity from out of state.

But, these sort of things make for good PR. I’m also guessing the home builder will be adding a premium to the price.

  • Pete

You seem to miss the point. These people do not want to lose their electricity when SCE knocks their community off the grid because of fire, storms, or other faults on the SCE grid. Lots of small rural communities lose power more frequently than big towns and cities. The all-electric microgrid community allow them to have electricity when SCE fails them.

The small isolated community of Dillon Beach in NW Marin County is a good example of losing electrical power monthly and with storms more often. They are currently in the process of developing a microgrid community.



That’s where whole house generators come in real handy.
Every time we lose power I debate if I should get one before I’m to old to pull out my portable one.

Batteries and solar are better than whole house generators.



I do love that you can declare that without knowing where I live or what conditions I live in.
But I should know better to even post something that doesn’t agree with you.
Have a day!! (or night)


I didn’t say nor imply that this community was off grid; maybe you understood the headline in that way, but I did leave the link which describes the plan of this community. OTOH SCE doesn’t want solar communities off the grid. During peak solar production SCE can benefit from solar power they receive from homes. Furthermore, peak electric power usage in California is around 5pm, after solar production has waned. With a large battery backup system, a community like this will continue to sell power to the grid well into and past peak power usage. This is a good thing.

I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean? California imports natural gas to produce electricity, so does Florida. Florida in fact imports 4x as much as California; a State that has a better solar production potential.
Minnesota imports all of its Oil and Natural Gas.
Does this somehow have a meaning related to solar power production and battery backup systems?

Creating small solar power grids with large batter back up is more than good PR


We had a nearly whole house generator* when we remodeled a house 10 years ago. Came handy several times when the power went out and the heat and humidity were both over 90. One time it ran for about 36 hours and I was dreading the gas bill but as best as I could figure it was about the same cost.

When we built our new home, had a nearly whole house generator installed. Primarily because we were one of two houses connected to a power line. If something were to happen, we would be the last on the list to get power restored. And something did happen and without power for 24 hours.

Worth the cost? Debatable. But we look at it as insurance. Keeps a bad situation from being horrible. Plus, would hate to be on a trip and leave our house sitter niece/nephew in a bind.

*nearly whole house because unless you want to spend $$$, you have to pick what is important to keep running. So mostly HVAC, fridge, freezer, and WiFi.


Would a battery pack be better today?

The Captain

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I was wondering that as well. The thing I have never liked about gasoline, deisel or natural gas generators is the need to keep fuel fresh and also the periodic running of the engine and the periodic maintenance of it as well.


Thanks for your view. I also look at it as insurance, just haven’t done it yet.
We’ve started to travel more so it’s got me thinking about it more and more.

I’m not sure if a battery pack can power everything for a day or two(longest without power so far was 30hrs) but I am sure that a generator can. I’m surrounded by tall trees so don’t have any direct sunlight so solar panels may not work as well. Also where I live it gets we get all the seasons.

I had natural gas ran to my house so no need to store fuel here. They start once and a while to make sure everything is good and I don’t mind maintaining things.


Powerwall is way way more expensive, and lasts a much much shorter time.

That would not work for fire areas. Gas companies turnoff the gas when fires get close to houses and pipelines.

PG&E turned off the gas during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. We got the news from Venezuela. There was a power outage but the world heard the news from the blimp that was covering the baseball game. The telephone still worked and one of my partners talked to his dad in Caracas. BTW, we had to wait for PG&E to turn on the gas pilot light.

The Captain

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Doubtful. With trees, orientation of house, weather patterns, not sure it would be able to supply enough energy long enough. Then cost.

Our generator is tied into the gas line running to the house, so no storage issues. Yes it cycles once a week for about 10 minutes and there is annual maintenance but really not an issue. And in theory the gas line supply could be cut off/disrupted.

It is the best option for us.


You don’t need solar panels to charge the battery. The grid will charge them at their cheapest rate. Of course a generator will last longer. On the other hand solar panels can sell electricity back to the grid lowering the cost.

The Captain


It’s the longer power outages that concern me(Which is why I’m leaning towards a generator). The short ones I can generally ride out without doing anything.

Now on the other hand my brother’s house is set up well for solar panels(No trees, large roof with southern exposure). He’s putting on panels this summer to take advantage of that.

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The OP was about community micro-grids. Individuals homes will never be good enough without the grid for longer periods of time except by having fossil fuel powered generators. Fossil fuel generators do not generate green electricity. They pollute more than utility power plants. We need to stop the burning of fossil fuel and increasing air pollution from generators.

The take-away is that renewable sourced electricity needs both storage (batteries) and connectivity (micro-grids) to be reliable. Another version of micro-grids is Virtual Power Plants (VPP).

The Captain


Yes. It also makes the price of electricity very high in California. The reasons for this, however, may not be so obvious.

As I have posted here before, the cost of electricity in CA is much higher than most of the rest of the country.

Residential electricity rates:
California 26 cents per kwh
Oregon: 11 cents
Nevada: 14 cents
Arizona: 13 cents
US Avg: 15 cents

In the past decade, California green policies have resulted in a large amount of solar power capacity added. Electric power rates have gone up faster than the US in general. Part of the reason for this disparity is because of the regressive nature of who pays for the electricity. It is a system where those with money enjoy the benefits, while the low and middle-income people pay the money to keep the grid operable. I call that a regressive payment system. Isn’t that supposed to be a bad thing?

From the link:
However, because lower-income residents use only moderately less electricity than higher income households, they end up with a disproportionate share of the burden, according to the study. And while the bills of older, wealthier Californians continue to decrease as they adopt cost-efficient alternatives like the state’s Net Energy Metering solar program, costs will keep rising for a shrinking customer base composed mostly of low- and middle-income renters who still use electricity as their main energy source.

“When households adopt solar, they’re not paying their fair share,” Fowlie said. While solar users generate power that decreases their bills, they still rely on the state’s electric grid for much of their power consumption — without paying for its fixed costs like others do.
% % % % %

With the high price of electricity, along with the recent spike natural gas prices, many utility customers are falling behind in paying their bills.

“We have about 3.7 million customers,” said Anthony Wagner, an SDG&E spokesman. “Of that, approximately 341,000, or 25%, are at some level, behind on their bill.”
Delinquencies are counted as people who are at least 30 days late in paying their bills.
Most of those delinquencies are more than 60 days late, a surprisingly large number.

“Five years ago the numbers were more like 10%-15% were behind,” said Mark Wolfe, the director of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association. “25% clearly suggests that the cost of home energy is becoming unaffordable for many families. And the programs that are in place are not sufficient to help them pay these bills.”
% % % % % %

Projects like this microgrid in the Inland Empire in the OP are just going to increase the price of electricity even more.

  • Pete