Enhancing Community Resilience

Solar energy is proving to be a key strategy to both the long and short-term goals of community resilience. Solar energy is a key strategy to reducing carbon emissions and curbing the impacts of climate change, it can improve the overall reliability and resilience of our energy grid, and with the proper technology, can also have immediate benefits in regard to disaster preparedness and emergency operations.

What is resilient solar power?

A resilient solar power system is one that continues to provide power during grid outages. To do this, the system must be capable of disconnecting from the grid (i.e. islanding). Resilient systems that include battery storage can continue to provide power when the sun isn’t shining.

Through SMP, work is underway to:

  • Understand the technologies that make resilient solar possible.
  • Reduce the costs of resilient solar.
  • Identify and overcome regulatory barriers that make it difficult to install solar with battery storage.
  • Identify critical facilities that can utilize solar energy to maintain operations during and after disaster.
  • Integrate solar energy deployment into city emergency planning and operations.

Examples of our work:

The City University of New York (CUNY) is working to develop a Roadmap for Resilient Solar that aims to address the barriers to widespread resilient solar adoption in New York State, including the costs, safety, and technological concerns related to solar storage. Learn more here.

The City and County of San Francisco Department of the Environment is identifying key areas within twelve neighborhoods where critical facilities can be grouped to form microgrids and share solar power in the event of an extended power outage. Learn more here.

The Salt Lake City Corporation is working to determine best practices for integration of solar storage in emergency management planning through a pilot project that will engage healthcare facilities and investigate opportunities to deploy resilient solar. Learn more here.