Reclaim your neighborhood’s power

Your home is connected to a vast electrical power system. It’s often impossible to know precisely where your power comes from at any given time. While this system has worked well for decades, there is growing evidence that a clean energy revolution is coming soon.

I believe  communities across North America have a unique opportunity to reclaim control of the generation and distribution of their power sources at the scale of the city block.  There are two ways to accomplish this transition to block-scale power grids:

  1. Retrofit – reconfigure existing urban areas to take advantage of new technologies.
  2. Greenfield – build new neighborhoods hardwired for clean block-scale power.

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A power grid for your block

What if we could build a power grid that worked at the scale of a single city block? With recent advances in solar energy, battery technology, energy efficient design, and smart metering, it may be possible.

Imagine a city where every block generates all the power that it needs from clean, renewable sources. With rapid advances in energy storage (aka batteries), it may soon be feasible for small groups of buildings to generate all the energy they require for normal operation.

Currently, the scale of the electricity grid is continental. In North America, NERC has responsibility for the oversight of this massive system. While these areas look homogeneous, they can be though of as many interwoven systems.

Source: NERC

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Disruptive technologies have the potential to render this model obsolete in places within a relatively short span.

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