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Powering Community Recovery and Emergency Management with Renewable Off-Grid Power

Lauren Flanagan  (CEO and Co-founder, Sesame Solar)

Location: W230B

Date: Tuesday, March 26

Time: 11:30 am - 12:00 pm

Track: Incident Management

Topic: Critical Infrastructure

Format: Power Session

Vault Recording: TBD

After climate disasters, the power grid is often the first essential resource impacted. Communities go an average of 50 hours without power, which is a critical time for recovery and leaves many without access to communications, power, clean water and medical care. In this session, discuss the importance of deployable, off-grid energy solutions in the face of a buckling power grid and increasing natural disasters. Renewably-powered mobile nanogrids can utilize solar, green hydrogen and battery storage to create a closed-loop continuous system that starts generating energy in <15 minutes. It operates completely independent from the power grid, providing 3-20kW of solar power and 15-150kWh of battery storage. The nanogrids are easily transported and retrofitted to double as a medical clinic, clean water station, and more.

In addition, the grids are integrated to first responder systems such as AT&T FirstNet, and is currently working on integrating Verizon Frontline and Starlink systems. These nanogrids were deployed in Dominica and have powered a mobile medical clinic in a rural area for over 3 years. Following Hurricane Ian, nanogrids were deployed by Comcast in Fort Myers to power Crisis Response Centers with trailers of toilets, showers, laundry and essential services for 300 residents and first responders daily. Hear these case studies and others, like the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management, the US Air Force, and the Army Corps of Engineers, use nanogrids as part of their emergency response plan to prepare for the inevitable reality of more power outages.

Takeaways:
- Why communities should consider a reliable source of off-grid power as critical infrastructure for disaster response and preparedness.
- The harmful impact of relying on fossil fuel generators, which further contributes to the climate change crisis.
- The importance of self-generating clean energy to support emergency services so first responders and communities don't have to rely on existing, aging infrastructure.
- Examples of how renewably-powered, mobile nanogrids are deployed in the wake of climate emergencies