Reporter Beth Farnsworth and the news team at our local ABC affiliate KEYT Channel 3 led their nightly newscast on November 12, 2015, with an excellent report on the vulnerability of the South County electricity supply. View the video below: video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player Click here to read the full transcript and a statement from […]
SBR3: SANTA BARBARA MICROGRID
SBR3 stands for "Santa Barbara Reliable, Resilient, and Renewable." The goal of the project is the creation of a scalable, efficient, and resilient microgrid energy system using local renewable energy resources for communities in southern Santa Barbara County.
Santa Barbara: resilient, reliable, renewable
Santa Barbara—which regularly experiences power outages and is connected to compromised transmission lines capable of exposing southern Santa Barbara County to extended, catastrophic energy shortages—is an ideal location to develop a microgrid – a renewable energy system that utilizes local energy production, storage, energy efficiency, advanced-control systems, and load- shifting technologies to create a resilient and reliable local energy grid capable of operating as an energy “island” in an emergency.
As this system comes on line, it will eliminate our current dependence on electricity generated by fossil fuel. Once created in Santa Barbara, the system design can be exported globally to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions—an essential task in the fight against global warming. To watch a video of a detailed vision for a planetary energy shift, please visit the Clean Energy Moonshot.
California—with its intellectual resources, culture of leading innovation, proactive governance and regulatory ethos—is the ideal place to develop and deploy community-based renewable energy microgrid systems capable of collecting, storing, and distributing local renewable energy to benefit everyone.
Watch: Blackout or bright future?
Southern Santa Barbara County is the terminus of the transmission grid (much like being located at the end of a very long extension cord), with the vast majority of our power carried through a single pair of high voltage transmission lines.
Southern California Edison (SCE), the utility company providing electricity to southern Santa Barbara County, identified a potentially disastrous vulnerability in the power transmission system they own and operate. The transmission towers between the Santa Clara and Goleta nodes—many of which are located on steep and remote mountaintops—are vulnerable to destruction by wildfire, strong storms, or a large earthquake.
According to SCE's report to the Public Utilities Commission on this issue, if a tower were to go down,
all 82,700 metered customers in South Santa Barbara County would lose power until emergency electrical power could be delivered to the area. Service disruption would initially affect all customers, including critical services (e.g. hospitals, schools, universities, traffic lights and street lights). Natural disasters, such as landslides or earthquakes, could limit access for transmission line/tower repair or replacement for possibly up to several weeks. Without an answer to local reliability needs in South Santa Barbara County, long term outages could occur for several weeks.
This is not an academic exercise or a theoretical discussion. Based on Southern California Edison’s clear warning, City and County officials should immediately initiate a full examination regarding the current state of the existing transmission network providing virtually all the power needed by southern Santa Barbara County.
Fortunately, more than enough renewable energy potential exists in Santa Barbara County to fulfill all of our power needs. To harness that latent energy, the World Business Academy developed a proactive strategy to build local renewable energy systems to ensure reliable delivery of energy, increase community resiliency in the face of natural disasters, and eliminate our dependence on fossil-fuel and nuclear energy. We call this plan SBR3: Santa Barbara: Reliable, Resilient, and Renewable!
Building a Community Microgrid in Santa Barbara will solve the challenges we currently face while also providing extraordinary economic benefits to the residents of Santa Barbara County, to the State of California, and eventually to the entire global community. By creating the first large-scale and 100-percent renewable community microgrid on the planet, the Santa Barbara community will give birth to a system that could ultimately reverse global warming and achieve global economic prosperity.
Researchers at University California San Diego have implemented a microgrid on one of its campuses. Please watch the video here (link)