Blackouts Have Triggered an Energy Storage Boom in California

As utilities turn off power to prevent wildfires, more homeowners are looking to install battery backup systems

The threat of chronic blackouts is sparking a rush to install battery backup systems as California homeowners try to avoid disruptive power cuts related to wildfires.

Blackouts are increasingly a part of life as Pacific Gas and Electric Co. strives to avoid igniting deadly blazes with aging equipment. At fault for some of the state’s worst wildfires, the utility shut off power nine times between June and October last year in Northern California. Some blackouts lasted for days, and at least one affected more than a million people.