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Can Solar and Batteries Outlast an Extended Power Outage?

By District Energy posted 10-21-2019 16:57


Emma Foehringer Merchant, Green Tech Media


Even by the standards of the generally well-informed clean-energy customers in California's Bay Area, Todd Karin is a savvy one.

Karin works as a postdoctoral researcher in the energy storage and distributed resources division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Last year, he chose to add solar and storage to his home, first buying an array of Panasonic panels and then adding a Tesla Powerwall a few months later. 

Karin said the decision to go solar was an environmental and economic one, but the energy storage he had installed was in preparation for an uptick in power outages. He lives in a part of rural Solano County situated between San Francisco and the Central Valley. Though power outages roiled the Bay Area last week — with Pacific Gas & Electric reporting a peak of 738,000 impacted customers — Karin and many of his neighbors were prepared.

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