The City of Gonzales in the Salinas Valley has reached an agreement with utilities to build a 35-megawatt community-scale microgrid. The move is in response to public safety power shutoffs imposed as a prevention strategy during dangerous wildfire weather. The plan will maintain electricity at all times for the city’s Ag Industrial Park.

The $70 million project will include a mix of solar energy, battery storage and thermal generation. The city hopes the project will also attract new businesses and build its tax base.

“The companies who do business here need to know that they will have the power they need, when they need it, from a variety of green and low-carbon sources,” said Mayor Maria Orozco.