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January has brought devastation to thousands of people in California. Severe weather caused massive flash floods, rock slides, and violent wind conditions along the northern Californian coast. Over 120,000 homes and businesses remained without power for days following the extreme storm.
As more extreme weather events and natural disasters occur due to climate change, there is a real threat to existing power grids. When massive outages occur, it can take days for electricity to come back on. But it only taking days is the best-case scenario. In some regions and countries, it can take months for electricity to come back on after a powerful storm. After Hurricane Maria in 2017, it took roughly 11 months for electricity to come back on in Puerto Rico after the storm decimated the electrical grid.
Simply put, the electrical grid is highly susceptible to storms and communities are at the mercy of the electrical company. To make matters worse, electricity bills have risen dramatically. In the past year, electricity prices have increased by 15.8%. To put it in perspective, reports estimate that the monthly average for a family to cool their home in the summer went from $450 to $600.
Because of all of these factors, there is a real need for energy-resilient solutions for communities and families. This is especially true in disaster-prone regions that are far more likely to have massive power outages following an extreme weather event.
What Does An Energy-Resilient Solution Look Like?
In Castañer, Puerto Rico a microgrid was built in 2022 to combat constant outages and voltage fluctuations that destroyed equipment for small businesses. The microgrid is comprised of 121 solar panels and thus far, the community has seen incredible success with its energy independence.
This is a prime example of how energy-resilient solutions can look in operation in a community. On a smaller more individual level, nanogrids are a perfect option for energy independence at a household level.
YouSolar has developed a fully-integrated solar nanogrid, the Powerbloc®. This whole-home solution is helpful for overall energy independence and efficiency and having a nanogrid will allow homes to stay on during long-scale blackouts.
Whether a family is living off-grid, wants to protect against rising electricity prices, or is increasingly concerned over blackouts, there is a sense of security in owning your own power grid.
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