Solar and Battery Back-up System for Soboba Tribal Community

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December 28, 2020
Soboba Fire Station

GRID Alternatives was awarded a $1.7 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) for a microgrid community solar project and battery backup system on the Soboba Band of Cahuilla and Luiseño Indian Tribe Reservation in San Jacinto, Calif. This project will consist of a 55kW DC solar system installed on a carport, with resilient battery backup system that can last 6-10 hours in case of power shuts off on the fire station, which will be an emergency source of power for the community.

“We are excited to use innovative technologies to advance climate resiliency in tribal communities in California. This project will provide essential power to the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indian Fire Station for the reservation, and the surrounding communities. This project will not only allow emergency services to continue during outages, but will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate disasters that cause the outages in the first place,“ said Community Development & Tribal Program Manager Lisa Castilone.

The battery backup system — a 0.5 MWh non-lithium battery, supplied by Invinity Energy Systems (LSE:IES) — will be monitored by the University of California, Riverside’s (UCR) Sustainability team and energy division. Battery technology has evolved over the years, and UCR researchers continue to look for better ways to make it more sustainable, last longer and become more efficient. Due to Southern California increasingly experiencing fires in certain regions, battery backup systems can be an important part of a community’s emergency plan, providing a backup source in case of power outages. Installation for the CEC-funded Soboba Fire Station Carport will commence in November 2021, followed by installation of the battery backup system. The project is slated for completion sometime in 2022.

GRID’s Tribal Program​ helps tribal communities become self-sustaining by providing resources to assist with their clean energy goals. For more information about GRID Alternatives Inland Empire, visit www.gridalternatives.org/ie or call 951-272-GRID(4743).