Due to precautionary blackouts imposed this week by the local public utility company, PG&E, more than 800,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area have been stuck in the dark – nearly 500,000 of which without power for at least two days.
The U.S. has one of the highest standards of living in the world; and yet, even here, the utility grid continues to show severe vulnerabilities.
We’ve written about blackouts before — we’re well aware that the problem is getting worse, and it’s affecting more and more people every day.
It’s not just a matter of toughing it out by burning candles at night. Today’s economy is powered by millions of people who work from home, and without power, they can’t produce. The elderly oftentimes are unable to just go find food when everything in their refrigerator spoils. Those with diabetes need to keep their insulin refrigerated. Families with young children can’t use fans to keep cool in the oppressive heat. And these are just a few of the real-life problems people face with prolonged outages.
Thankfully, power is starting to be restored in some areas of California. But if you’ve been affected by this outage, you know how hard it’s been — and you may be among those asking: how can I protect myself from a blackout?
In the event of a grid failure, like the blackouts this week, safety regulations require that solar power systems shut down to prevent sending power back into the offline grid. So, what’s the answer? Solar power that is compatible with backup battery storage.
To provide homeowners with true grid independence, we have developed Enphase Ensemble energy management technology. This breakthrough new technology will enable home solar systems to stay up and running during a blackout by safely disconnecting the home from the grid in the event of a grid failure, and instantly switching to solar and/or battery power.