Nearly a million Californians are without power and could be in the dark for days. A forecast of hot, dry winds has elevated the threat of wildfire, causing Pacific Gas & Electric to cut power in large parts of Central and Northern California. PG&E had to resort to this drastic precaution because its aging and poorly maintained power lines are a severe wildfire risk.
The same weather system will produce Santa Ana winds in Southern California and could trigger similar outages there, potentially affecting hundreds of thousands more.
These planned blackouts could soon become much more frequent across the state. Scientists agree that climate change is leading to more powerful wildfires and longer fire seasons. PG&E’s power lines have been blamed for several deadly fires in recent years, including the November 2018 blaze that killed 86 people and destroyed the town of Paradise, California.
To protect themselves against the threat of blackouts, many homeowners are combining their rooftop solar installation with an energy storage system that saves self-generated power for later use. One of the most sophisticated home energy storage systems on the market is designed and manufactured in San Diego: the NeoVolta NV14 Energy Storage System.
When the power goes out, the NV14 automatically disconnects from the grid to continuously power a home’s critical loads such as lighting, refrigeration, garage and communications. The system has a high storage capacity of 14.4 kilowatt hours (kWh) and delivers 7.6 kW of continuous power. Homeowners who need more storage capacity can add a second NV14 battery only system and avoid the expense of installing another entire system (inverter and battery); this option will be available in November 2019. The NeoVolta NV14 is currently being installed in Southern California only, but will be expanding to Northern California in the next 6 months.
The NV14’s advanced lithium iron phosphate battery is designed for safety and a longer life cycle than ordinary lithium ion batteries. The system can connect with any residential solar installation—new or existing, AC or DC.
With the NeoVolta NV14, homeowners can also save big money on their monthly electric bill. Solar energy stored in the battery can be used in the evening, when the rooftop panels aren’t producing and electricity rates are most expensive.
“Until the utility companies can guarantee the safety of their infrastructure, California will suffer crippling power outages every time we have high winds and dry heat,” said Brent Willson, CEO of NeoVolta. “Every homeowner needs to have an emergency plan, and energy storage should be part of it. The NeoVolta NV14 will power your home through any blackout crisis, keeping your family comfortable and connected. And when the grid is restored and things are normal, you can expect to see significant savings on your energy bill.”