Thursday, January 2, 2020

Build Your Own Utility: An Idea whose time has come?

From Washington Post, Jan 1, 2020.

BLUE LAKE, Calif. — After months of wildfires, an essential question in a warming, windy California is this: How does the state keep the lights on? A tiny Native American tribe, settled here in the Mad River Valley, has an answer.

Build your own utility.

The Blue Lake Rancheria tribe has constructed a microgrid on its 100-acre reservation, a complex of solar panels, storage batteries and distribution lines that operates as part of the broader utility network or completely independent of it. It is a state-of-the-art system — and an indicator of what might be in California’s future.

Article continues at


Jon said...


Brian Stewart said...

Thank you for calling our attention to this interesting article. Here in Middletown, Wesleyan University created a microgrid after twin storms in 2011 led to two weeks of power outages.

It would be interesting to read an article on all the local microgrids -- there must be others -- and to learn what the state of Connecticut regulation is. California is hurrying to update its regulatory environment because of the fires and blackouts there. Connecticut should not wait for such widespread harm to do the same.

Michael Harris said...

Microgrids are indeed part of Middletown's future if we are to achieve 100% renewable energy within our boundaries.