- San Francisco city officials are considering installing solar-plus-storage systems at as many as 12 community buildings, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
- Backers of the proposed project say the installations would be designed to provide energy for critical loads for up to five days to help the city survive a major disaster, such as an earthquake.
- Whether or not the city moves forward with the project could depend on costs. Consulting group Arup, hired to study the viability of the solar-plus-storage systems, put the price tag at $40 million.
Much of San Francisco’s current resiliency planning relies on diesel generators to provide electricity should the city be hit by a disaster. But obtaining fuel for those generators could be difficult during a major disaster that disrupts supply chains.
According to a three year study funded with $1.3 million from the Department of Energy and $300,000 in San Francisco city funds, solar-plus-storage installations at community centers would provide fuel-free backup power for critical services such as refrigeration for medical supplies, lighting for shelters, and communications.
It is still unclear, however, how the city would pay for the proposed installations. The $40 million price tag could be reduced to about $26 million, if the city can find a private sector partner for the installations.
“We are still looking forward to working collaboratively with our fellow city agencies to think about how implementation of these projects might fit into the city’s bigger picture around emergency response, resiliency and also bringing more renewables onto our grid,” Department of the Environment spokesperson Peter Gallotta told the Examiner.