Montecito Community Microgrid Resilience Fund

The Montecito Community Microgrid Initiative (MCMI) provides a unique opportunity to build back right after a devastating fire and debris flow in this disaster-prone region — while ensuring indefinite renewables-driven backup power for critical emergency response and recovery facilities. This deployment of clean local energy will showcase the grid of the future and will provide an unparalleled trifecta of economic, environmental, and resilience benefits to the community.

Project status

Community Microgrid designs for the MCMI are currently being finalized for these three sites, which surround commercial sites in the Montecito Upper Village:

  • Montecito Fire Protection District (FD) headquarters and primary fire station: Houses the majority of Montecito’s fire-fighting resources
  • Montecito Water District (WD) headquarters and critical wells and pumps: Adjacent to the FD and operate 24×7 during fires
  • Montecito Union School (MUS): Half a mile from the FD/WD; already the site of the FD’s emergency helicopter operations; will serve as the primary emergency sheltering site

Why these initial sites require a small subsidy

  • These sites are the first to be designed as net zero — meaning at least as much renewable energy will be generated at each site as each site consumes annually — with indefinite renewables-driven backup power for the most critical electric loads.
  • These facilities will pay no more for electricity than they would to the utility.

The subsidy will be covered by the Montecito Community Microgrid Resilience Fund, which will require a total of $750K as delineated in this table:

Because each subsequent Community Microgrid deployment will enjoy increased efficiency, we intend to leverage these three initial projects to increasingly eliminate the need for subsidies for future sites. Additionally, the Clean Coalition is diligently standardizing a Value of Resilience (VOR), which will help everyone understand that a premium is appropriate for indefinite renewables-driven backup power for critical loads.

Be part of the solution

Please consider supporting the Montecito Community Microgrid Resilience Fund. Your contribution will help bring much-needed resilience to the Montecito region.

The Fund is being aggregated by the Clean Coalition, which is a project of Natural Capitalism Solutions.
This ensures that your donation is fully tax-deductible.

How your contribution will support resilience in Montecito

Your contribution will help make these initial Community Microgrids a reality.

A Community Microgrid is a locally based energy system — a small electric grid with its own electrical generation sources. It combines solar panels and other locally available renewable resources with advanced inverters, energy storage, and software-based control systems. A Community Microgrid is linked to the main electric grid, but during a power outage it can isolate itself and keep running, providing power to critical facilities and other prioritized loads.

The Community Microgrids for the Montecito region will do more than just cover the most critical loads 100% of the time. They will also cover much more of the electric load a significant percentage of the time — including 100% of the load about 25% of the time:

Learn more

To learn more about the MCMI and the Montecito Community Microgrid Resilience Fund, see the attached presentation, “MCMI SC Resilience Fund Update”: PowerPoint | PDF

For further information, please contact Craig Lewis, Executive Director of the Clean Coalition, at craig@clean-coalition.org.

The Fund is being aggregated by the Clean Coalition, which is a project of Natural Capitalism Solutions.
This ensures that your donation is fully tax-deductible.