Enabling California's Resilient Tribal Communities with Mobile Renewable Power

GRID Alternatives


Oakland, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Project Status

Project Update

The Issue

California's tribal communities are highly impacted by planned and unplanned public safety power shut offs and grid outages. Entire communities are often left without power, and many critical facilities are left inoperable or dependent on expensive, noisy, polluting gas powered generators, which can greatly limit the ability to provide critical resources and timely responses to an emergency or disaster. Tribal communities are often very rural, which leads to longer distances traveled to reach necessary resources, and rarely have the ability to quickly mobilize electric power to where it's needed most.

Project Innovation

The purpose of this agreement is to fund a project model to deploy fully operable, grid-independent, and modular generation systems to enable California's tribal and disadvantaged communities to provide both critical electric resources when the grid is down, as well as reliable, highly mobile off-grid resources for facilities and services throughout the year. This mobile critical resilience model will not only provide the functionality to study multiple use cases and advance mobile generation technology throughout California, it also provides immediate, flexible and scalable relief to families who are suffering the most from the effects of wildfires and grid outages

Project Benefits

The project will support the development of energy dense, high capacity, mobile renewable generation systems that are capable of charging critical facilities, households and devices without connection to the grid. The project will demonstrate a highly scalable, replicable technology and deployment model which can be used in multiple types of emergencies and all grid outages and PSPS events. The durable, weatherproof system will also be able to support day-to-day operations, including off-grid and remote applications where there is no grid access, in all of California's climate zones

Energy Security

Energy Security

The SAIDI and SAIFI indices of 4,800 and 4, respectively, are estimated based on the number of interruptions and their duration experienced in 2019 by some of the selected demonstration sites. Based on an annual electric load of 7,200 kWh and annual household income of $56,862, the annual cost of sustained interruptions is estimated at $126.53 per customer. The equipment equipped with solar PV can provide additional benefits to its end-users even when grid power is available. It can provide a total of 3,548 kWh energy per year. Using the fixed electricity value of $0.1698 per kWh, the annual electricity savings are $602.48. The combined above benefits amount to $14,580 over a 20-year period.

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