Related to comments received earlier, I will be exploring the concept of San Diego residents starting up their own backyard solar farms as always-on grid failure backups and then sharing free electricity among neighbors as an electricity cooperative.

If the yards of these neighbors share a common fence line and no alleys or other public right-of-ways are crossed, then the rates of an electricity cooperative as defined in the California Public Utilities Code is beyond the scope of any proceeding of the California Public Utilities Commission. If an alley or other public right-of-way is crossed by lines strung up by an electrical cooperative, then an application potentially leading to CPUC hearings is generally required, especially if the thing crossed happens to include railroad tracks, underground pipelines, or other CPUC-regulated assets.

There may be a need for a local association of neighborhood electrical cooperatives, so that each one is not left to re-invent the wheel just to be friendly to one's neighbors.

Electrical cooperatives based on free solar electricity production at home are a significant asset in local emergency planning matters during prolonged power outages or other power grid failures. Locally, these failures have been experienced during wildfire conditions after overhead power equipment caused or fed those wildfires. The problem of local utility overhead equipment causing wildfires became such an expensive concern for San Diego Gas and Electric Company that it made proposals for regulatory approval to shut down portions of the grid in the County of San Diego during high wind conditions combined with low humidity. If all San Diego residents were capable of a sustained daytime output of one kilowatt each from personal solar electricity generation at a zero carbon footprint for operation, then both (1) ordinary usage would be reduced by perhaps one-third of SDG&E residential peak usage and (2) SDG&E power restoration on post-incident grid recovery wold be a much simpler task in an all-hazard context under comprehensive emergency management by objectives. Furthermore, implementation by ordinary citizens could be done at relatively low cost without adding to the state or local government budget burden merely as a result of the market conditions spawned by continuous SDG&E rate hike proposals in the CPUC approval pipeline.


For more information on and free certification in comprehensive emergency management by objectives and ordinary citizen initiatives to improve home survivability, visit:

http://training.fema.gov/

Click for the FEMA Independent Study main menu option for the course certification available for free to US citizens. For people interested in volunteer organizing in your community, see the Professional Development Series of seven courses designed for volunteer organizers and other emergency managers wishing to integrate their group's activities and response capabilities into the local inventory of disaster response resources.

The FEMA Emergency Management Institute course finals are generally open-notes and open-book; just don't cheat and have somebody feed you the answers! The main idea is that FEMA wants to certify people who can actually use available Comprehensive Emergency Management job aids and other documents to get things done in a crisis... it's not at all about what you can or cannot memorize.

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