Photo by Mark McKenna
A line of cars waiting to fuel up stretches down the block at the Blue Lake Rancheria gas station, which used microgrid technology, including the solar panels above the pumps, to keep operating through the blackout.
story published today on the role microgrids play in keeping the lights on during natural disasters — focusing mainly on a community located on the Bay of Bengal in the wake of a cyclone — gives a cameo appearance to the Blue Lake Rancheria’s efforts.
The story describes the Rancheria’s microgrid system — built in collaboration with the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State — as being the “core of a sophisticated energy strategy designed to prepare the community for the growing impacts of climate change.”
That preparation was on full display back in October, when wildfire threats plunged Humboldt County into darkness
While PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoffs may now seem long, long ago and far, far way in the wake of the pandemic, it was — of course — the Blue Lake Rancheria that provided a major lifeline to the community during that time.
Not only was the Rancheria able to keep its hotel in operation, but it provide a safe space for the medically fragile, kept the ice and gas flowing and allowed people to charge their phones and medical devices, among many other important services.
Read the full HuffPost story here