by Jeff St. John
June 14, 2019

Over the past six months, we’ve spent a good deal of time covering California’s top energy policy challenge, Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy and the state’s wildfire-prevention efforts. We’ve also been covering some long-running efforts to create market-based incentives and policies to boost distributed energy resource deployment and integration.

Last week, California’s two biggest investor-owned utilities, PG&E and Southern California Edison, proposed a new tool to help customers facing wildfire-driven power disruptions, one that represents a convergence of these policy trends.

It’s called a “resiliency adder,” and it’s one of the first incentives aimed specifically at linking customers in the state’s most wildfire-prone areas with the battery-solar systems that could help them ride through grid outages to come.

One big question, however, is whether it’s more cost-effective for customers facing long and frequent fire-prevention power outages to install solar-storage systems or to simply buy a diesel-fueled backup generator.