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"Public Safety Power Shutoff" and Powerwall


Moderator, Supercharger Hunter
Global Moderator
Mar 17, 2015
Lafayette, CA, USA
Leaving commentary about PG&E management out of the picture and focusing on technical aspects...

I got a blurb today by email from PG&E about their procedures for shutting off electricity to high-fire danger areas to mitigate the risk of wildfires such as we have been having in California. It sounds like they would be able to do this with a bit of advance notice, as the point of this email was to encourage customers to have current contact information.

Would the Powerwall backend servers have sufficient information (and appropriate policy) to treat an upcoming "Public Safety Power Shutoff" like a Stormwatch event so the Powerwalls could charge up in advance of a known outage?

  • Informative
Reactions: boaterva


Active Member
Jan 25, 2017
SF Bay Area (East Bay), CA
Not as far as I know. The Storm Watch is based on NWS alerts. I also got the same notice from PG&E, and I'm at the top of a hillside with dry grass all around, so I suspect that I'll be shut down once the temperatures reach that level (not happening this week of course ).

That's why my plan is to get a 3rd Powerwall, and set my reserve to 33%, which way I can use one powerful for this condition, and the two I have right now for not running off the grid during Peak periods.

I checked the the Tesla Energy team, and Storm Watch is just for that Storm Watch, and not for power disruptions regardless of intention or by accident.
  • Informative
Reactions: NuShrike and bmah
Good idea but I doubt we'll get to the point that Tesla (or anyone else) will support this kind of pre-fire safety event by allowing grid charging. I'm pretty sure that the CPUC controls that sort of thing "on behalf of the customers". Perhaps with enough feature requests to both Tesla and the CPUC something may come to pass. Certainly, as penetration for battery storage increases here in California the chances will get better.
In the meantime, I'll likely do what I did last year and spend a lot of time keeping an eye on the forecasts for wind and heat for our area. We are fortunate enough to have a good source of weather information since Diablo Canyon required extensive weather monitoring as a part of it's licensing.
I plan on keeping my reserve higher for those days that look threatening. On the upside, since these types of events usually happen during clear days, I'm pretty much guaranteed that I'll be able to make enough from solar to top off my batteries for the coming evening to the next morning. While I have a relatively small system, I'm able to fill my batteries pretty early in the day as my overnight usage is usually in the 20% range with two PW2 units. If I have spare solar once the batteries are near full I can use my MS 90kWh battery as a "surge volume" to top off my car and keep the solar running by keeping my battery below 100%. Not really necessary if all goes well but if I can eliminate the solar having to cycle on and off with a full PW stack that's always a good choice. Equipment failures always seem to happen when things aren't operating as usual.
I'm hoping to receive a third PW sometime this year based on a referral award but who knows. When installed it will allow a bit more flexibility in how I manage my power for the house and car.

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