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Battery-based backup power may be option for outages

A Southern California Edison facility in Ventura County.

Concerned about the likelihood of future public safety power shut-offs or PSPS in Southern California Edison areas over the next few years, Henry Greenberg recently spent over $5,000 installing a backup power system for his house near Simi Valley.

Operable on either natural gas or propane, a 22-kilowatt generator will power his whole house, using an auto transfer switch any time power is disrupted.

Ben Gallagher, an SCE spokesperson, tells customers considering backup power systems to also consider changes likely to result from SCE’s “hardening of the grid.”

SCE is insulating power lines in high-risk fire areas, including locations previously affected by PSPS four or more times. The company is also clearing trees to reduce the need for shut-offs.

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Moreover, SCE has improved its high wind forecasting technology with over 1,000 weather stations and 161 high-definition cameras, and the utility installed switching devices to impact fewer customers when shutting circuits.

These changes are expected to bring areas of previous frequent outages closer to systemwide averages.

Read More: Battery-based backup power may be option for outages

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