The Goleta Load Pocket Community Microgrid (GLPCM) will showcase the power system of the future. The Goleta Load Pocket, a disaster-prone, transmission-vulnerable 70-mile stretch of Southern California coastline, provides the perfect opportunity for a comprehensive Community Microgrid that will bring the area an unparalleled trifecta of economic, environmental, and resilience benefits. A Community Microgrid can island from the larger grid during a power outage — whether it’s caused by a natural disaster, a PSPS, or any other event — providing indefinite renewables-driven backup power for critical community facilities such as fire stations and emergency shelters. During regular grid operations, the GLPCM will continue providing the benefits of clean local energy to the community.
About the Goleta Load Pocket
The Goleta Load Pocket (GLP) spans 70 miles of Southern California coastline, from Point Conception to Lake Casitas, encompassing the cities of Goleta, Santa Barbara (including Montecito), and Carpinteria.
The GLP lies at the end of the grid and is completely grid-dependent, generating very little of its own power. The area gets most of its power from just one
set of transmission lines that are hung on the same transmission towers and routed through 40 miles of mountainous terrain — making the GLP highly transmission-vulnerable.
Southern California Edison (SCE) has identified these transmission lines as being at risk for catastrophic failure from fire, earthquake, or heavy rains, which would cause a crippling, extended blackout of weeks or even months.
To achieve indefinite renewables-driven backup power that provides 100% protection to the GLP against a complete transmission outage (“N-2 event”), 200 megawatts (MW) of solar and 400 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy storage needs to be sited within the GLP. This is highly achievable, representing only:
- About 5 times the amount of the solar currently deployed in the area
- About 7% of the area’s technical solar siting potential on built environments such as rooftops, parking lots, and parking structures
- One of every 15 rooftops, parking lots, and parking structures in the area
The GLP Community Microgrid (GLPCM)
The GLPCM provides a unique opportunity to bring a disaster-prone region indefinite renewables-driven backup power — providing the area an unparalleled trifecta of economic, environmental, and resilience benefits. Significant efforts are being made to align appropriate stakeholders, including property owners, policymakers, community leaders, solutions providers, and the monopoly electric utility, Southern California Edison (SCE), toward this goal. This deployment of clean local energy will showcase the grid of the future.
Download a 2-page overview of the Goleta Load Pocket Community Microgrid (PDF)