Keep The Lights On-Ukiah

  • Make Ukiah power-down resilient
  • PG&E public safety power shutoff creates economic losses
  • The climate crisis is already here
  • Local power production is part of the solution

The Problem

Power shutdowns create economic losses

  • Businesses lose money
  • People lose wages
  • Medical needs go unmet
  • Food is wasted
  • The City loses millions of dollars
  • In 2019 the 4-day outage cost Ukiah $8 million

Fossil fueled generators

  • Don’t help the entire community
  • Are used 1% of the time
  • Need regular maintenance
  • Noisy
  • Require combustible expensive fuel
  • Difficult to resupply during long fuel lines

The Solution

Local Solar Power and Battery Storage

  • Part of the daily power production
  • Cost competitive as fossil fuel prices inflate
  • State mandates complete decarbonization by 2045
  • Even a partial system provides emergency power resilience

TALK ABOUT IT!

As awareness of the accelerating climate crisis grows, we need to build public support for local power decarbonization.  Tell everyone about this project.  By spreading the word and building momentum, we can encourage our city leaders to make Ukiah a power resilient reality.

POSSIBLE FUNDING SOURCES:

  • Institutional Investment funds
  • Power purchase construction companies
  • Federal and State grants
  • City Bonding authority

Since this video

This video was made shortly before the pandemic hit, which put an end to all public meetings and activism.  Since then, the climate crisis has accelerated, and is impacting the economy in new ways.  The fire season in California has gotten longer, and the scale of the fires continues to increase.  2023 was the hottest year ever recorded, and 2024 is already hotter.  Fire insurance is more expensive, and becoming unavailable in places. The State of California has set a goal of complete decarbonization of the economy by 2045, removing all carbon dioxide emissions.  All electrical power providers have been directed to increase production by a factor of 3, and all of it must be produced from non carbon sources.  As a step toward this goal, the Northern California Power Authority (NCPA), Ukiah’s power provider, has directed Ukiah to produce an additional 15% of our needs from local renewable generation.  One of the benefits of this will be increased power resiliency in emergencies, as having some power is much better than having none at all.  This will be disruptive, and expensive, but “business as usual” risks collapse of the entire economy.

HOW CAN I HELP?

Let the City Council know there is public support to KEEP THE LIGHTS ON!

  • CALL:  The City at (707) 463-6200
  • EMAIL:  Mayor Josefina Duenas – dcrane@cityofukiah.com
  • MAKE A STATEMENT IN PERSON: The Council meets 1st and 2nd Wednesday of every month at 6 pm in the Ukiah Civic Center 300 Seminary Ave.  Public Comments on any topic other than agenda items are accepted at the beginning of every meeting.

While the cost estimate included have changed, solar panels are more efficient and getting cheaper.  Battery costs have changed the most.  These estimates were for lithium ion batteries, which cost about $0.40-$0.50/watt hour, and last about a decade.  Grid scale batteries with new chemistries are available now, such as the iron flow battery, which have no precious materials, last for 25 years, and cost about $0.25/watt hour.  New funding opportunities have opened with the Federal Inflation Reduction Act.  In addition, more equity firms understand that renewable power is not only needed to address the climate, but affordable investments into the future.

Take a look at our cost estimates and rationale for KTLO-U:

KTLO-U, Detailed info

Links:

TruthOut – 11/29/19 –Could California’s Public Bonds Finance a Statewide Green New Deal?

LACity.org – 11/6/19 – Garcetti Celebrates Approval of Largest Solar and Energy Storage Project in America 

Napa Register – 11/6/19 – No Decision on Calistoga Microgrid as City Considers Power Options 

Calmatters.org – 01/16/19 – As California Enters a Brave New Energy World, Can it Keep the Lights on?

Clean Coalition – North Bay Community Resilience Initiative (NBCRI)