San Francisco Department of the Environment

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Solar and Energy Storage for Resiliency (Solar Resilient)

San Francisco’s Solar+Storage for Resiliency project (Solar Resilient) aims to expand the solar market by serving as a national model for integrating solar and energy storage into the City's Emergency Response Plans.

The project team is working closely with stakeholders to overcome regulatory, financial, and technical barriers and create a roadmap for deploying solar with storage for resilience both locally and nationally.

Viewing disaster preparation and resiliency through the lens of on-going sustainability is fairly new in the Emergency Response arena. Like other cities working on issues in the intersection of sustainability and emergency preparation, the City and County of San Francisco faces the challenge of being unable to use its sustainable energy resources when the electric grid goes down.

All of the pieces to implement a solar+storage solution are currently available in the market place. However, no one project has put the pieces together to create a comprehensive plan to allow a solar+storge solution to be implemented in disaster preparedness plans around the county.

Solar+Storage offers an opportunity to systematically bolster emergency preparedness not only in San Francisco, but in the 19,000+ municipal governments nationwide. By disseminating a plan for increasing solar and energy storage deployment, the project will advance the solar+storage market and financing mechanisms.

Goals and Objectives

The primary goals of the project are to accelerate the deployment of photovoltaics (PV) nationwide and create a roadmap for using PV as a viable tool for energy security in the event of an emergency. The project team will:

  • Research SF’s current disaster preparedness plans with respect to electricity needs of buildings.
  • Facilitate stakeholder engagement through the formation and management of a working group.
  • Identify Disaster Preparedness Zones in San Francisco, outlined in a series of geographic information systems (GIS) maps detailing building power needs and feasible microgrid locations.
  • Address technical and economic barriers and outline solutions in a road map.
  • Identify or develop an emergency load assessment tool.
  • Develop and approach to utilizing existing solar systems during an outage.
  • Disseminate plan, including a Best Practices Manual, to regional, state and national networks.

Organization and Partners

San Francisco Department of the Environment is the grant lead and will be working closely with ARUP, the primary subcontractor to complete the 2-year project’s scope. Celtic Energy and Strategen Consulting will provide technical support and expertise. 

Peer review, research support, and dissemination will be provided by: Sandia National Labratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Gas & Electric, SF Public Utilities Commission, SF Department of Public Health, SF Department of Emergency Management, County of Alameda, Neighborhood Empowerment Network, Neighborhood Emergency Response Team, Renewable Funding, Clean Coalition, Cal-Charge and Urban Sustainability Directors Network.

This project is funded by the US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative through the Solar Market Pathways Program, which supports 15 projects that are advancing solar deployment across the US.

SunShot Award Amount: $1,321,200

Project Timeline (PDF)
Review of existing emergency response plans (PDF)
Map of critical facilities (PDF)
Assessing critical loads in five building types (PDF)
Research Performance Progress Report Part 1 (RPPR1) (PDF)
Recorded webinar: Resilient San Francisco – tools for planning solar + storage systems

Additional Resources
Solar+Storage Applications for Local Governments (PDF)


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