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April 14, 2024

California Community Resilience Hubs

Tags: Climate  |  Energy Equity

Research Project

Between 2020 and 2024, PSE Healthy Energy partnered with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) to identify opportunities to build solar+energy storage resilience hubs at schools, community centers, and places of worship across California. APEN defines resilience hubs as “physical institutions that offer space for community members to gather, organize, and access resilience-building social services on a daily basis, and provide response and recovery services in disaster situations.” Our analysis focuses on solar+storage resilience hubs, which can deliver distinct advantages for community resilience by keeping essential services online during power outages and providing clean energy year-round.

Under the project, PSE provides a top-down view of climate resilience needs and resilience hubs potential across California. Our analysis includes a statewide population vulnerability assessment that identifies climate-vulnerable communities based on a range of climate, environmental, and socioeconomic stressors. In addition, we develop solar+storage designs for nearly 20,000 potential resilience hub sites and identify regional trends that make building resilience easier or harder across the state.

APEN and CBE provide a bottom-up view of building resilience in California communities, including insights on what it takes to actually design a resilience hub that reflects local needs and priorities. Their work includes case studies and the challenges and successes of on-the-ground deployment efforts in Richmond and Oakland in the Bay Area and in the Wilmington neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Publications and Resources

Through this project PSE, CBE, and APEN co-authored the report Building Community Resilience Across California. This report, along with a range of related interactive data tools and publications were developed to provide guidance to policymakers, community-based organizations, government agencies, and other state and local actors on both individual hub design, as well as broader policies and programs to support resilience hub deployment.

CBE

APEN

PSE Healthy Energy Research Products

Image of a solar array at a community center

Data Tool

Candidate Resilience Hub Mapping Tool

The Candidate Resilience Hub Mapping Tool allows users to explore opportunities for resilience hubs throughout California.

Image of a plane dropping fire retardant on a fire that is next to a power line.

Data Tool

California Public Safety Power Shutoff Interactive Map

The Public Safety Power Shutoff Map displays the frequency and duration of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) outages in California.

Rooftop solar worker

Factsheet

Solar+Storage Design Tradeoffs Factsheet

The Solar+Storage Design Tradeoffs factsheet provides information on the pros and cons of different solar+storage designs.

Image of a solar rooftop in a city

Blog

Designing Solar and Storage for Community Resilience Hubs

Blog exploring some of the trade-offs between economic and resilience considerations in solar+storage resilience hub design.

Image of a fire new power lines

Blog

Preventing Wildfires with Power Outages

Blog exploring trends in Public Safety Power Shutoffs in California.

Image of a fire at night

Blog

Mapping Public Safety Power Shutoffs

Blog exploring PSE maps of PSPS outages across investor-owned utility service territories.

Image of power lines at sunset

Blog

As Temperatures Soar, Access to Cooling Becomes Environmental Justice Concern

Blog examining link between extreme heat and energy reliability in urban and vulnerable communities.

Questions?

Contact the Project Team
  • Elena Krieger at PSE Healthy Energy (krieger@psehealthyenergy.org)
  • Shina Robinson at Asian Pacific Environmental Network (shina@apen4ej.org)
  • Laura Gracia at Communities for a Better Environment (laura@cbecal.org)

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