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Napa Firm Provides Fire Season Power

A Napa firm is helping wineries and vineyards with generators and solar power to keep the power on during anticipated PGE power shut-offs this Fall.


Joe Fischer, started ‘PSPS Power’ this Spring, just after the start of the COVID quarantine. “The impetus for the business was a comment by a friend that the Quarantine was terrible, but . . . at least we have power.” “I thought about the last three years of power shut downs and they generally happen during Crush. In 2019, we had 5 Crush PSPS events in Napa and Sonoma Counties starting late September with the last one November 20 and 21.


Fischer forged a relationship with Special Event Service & Rental (‘SESR’). SESR provides temporary power generators to the Safeway Open, about 1/3 of other PGA events, the Kentucky Derby, U.S. Government, and other events around the country. SESR generators range in size from 20 kilowatts to 1,500 kilowatts. Wineries will normally use smaller 20 kilowatt to 36 kilowatt generators for specific equipment, and 125 kilowatt to 350 kilowatt systems to power everything on the crush pad and a reasonable chiller capacity. ‘I decided to partner with SESR because of their extensive experience — their temp power plans can’t fail or the television broadcasts don’t happen, their fleet of generators is new with better sound attenuation, they love Napa Valley based on their work here, and we figured out that SESR could source up to 150 generators for the coming season if that is where demand landed.


Fischer also forged a relationship with WestCoast Solar Energy (WCSE). WestCoast has been installing solar power systems for wineries, vineyards, commercial companies and higher end homes for many years here in Sonoma and Napa. ‘I first met WCSE based on their installation of Solar power at a commercial center in Napa.’ ‘The reason I was looking for a solar partner was the fact that many people in the County have solar panels on their roofs, but they are ‘grid connected.’ When the PG&E grid power goes down, you don’t have power at your home, even though you have a small power plant on your roof. By installing solar batteries and some ‘transfer switch wiring,’ homes can have enough power for critical systems when the sun goes down till when the sun comes up the next day.


There is also an interesting incentive program from the state. If you rely on well water or you have a medical need, like a CPAP machine or other device, the State of California will provide up to $1,000 per kilowatt hour of battery storage to help offset the cost of installing a battery. ‘Most residences will need about a 10 to 20 kilowatt hours of solar battery for critical systems. Some people love the idea of even more power and the systems are scalable.’


People can learn more about PSPS Power by going to the company’s website: Joe Fischer can be reached at 707-738-5853.