Escondido, CA
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Mostly cloudy
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“Hot enough for you?”

ED GALLO SPEAKS

Here’s a conversation starter for you. “Is it hot enough for you?” Just as it is every August, nothing new. What is perplexing to me is why the rolling blackouts? I’m sure you all have received the emails from SDG&E regarding the possibility, if not the probability, of rolling blackouts due to the intense heat and the increased demand for electricity. 

We’ve already been jacked up by higher energy costs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. now the potential of not even having electricity available in supposedly the world’s 6th largest economy. Feels more like Third World economy.

About 20 years or so ago we had many discussions over building “peaker plants,” energy facilities built to fill in additional electricity during high demand times such as what we are experiencing now. Then after numerous emotional meetings Sempra Energy was permitted to build a 550MW power plant in western Escondido. Sempra did an awesome job assuaging the fears of neighbors by a design limiting any blasting to almost negligible impact.

Now, two years ago, the world’s largest lithium battery storage facility was built in Escondido. Let me repeat that so there is no misunderstanding. This facility is the world’s, not the county’s largest, not the region’s largest, not the state’s largest, not the nation’s largest and not the hemisphere’s largest but the largest on the third rock from the sun on a planet called Earth. On this entire globe there is no storage facility that is larger than what we have in Escondido.

Here’s my problem. Well, first the definition of battery storage from my Webster’s New World Dictionary. “The charging of a storage battery so as to make possible the subsequent generation of electricity.” That is I do believe a very succinct and easily understood definition. I do not know how many megawatts of electricity is stored but if it is the world’s largest there must be a substantial amount of electricity which can be disbursed when needed.

That was a long way to get to my question which is, “Why, if Escondido has such a vast amount of electricity available, should we be subject to the 60 minutes of no juice as mentioned in the SDG&E emails?” I say, not even one second of a rolling blackout. Consider also that solar installations on residential and commercial buildings have to have increased 100 fold over the past 10 years, thus reducing the demand from our only energy provider. Obviously I am not an engineer, who no doubt has a very plausible explanation for all of this.

Now an incident I remember from the late 1970’s. There was an engineer who lived on Bear Valley Parkway south of Idaho who installed a windmill on his property. He then connected a series of batteries to store electricity so he could go off the grid. I believe after SDG&E became aware of missing payments from this man both parties came to an amicable solution. I thought it was genius on the part of this homeowner.

If you only read headlines or listen only to the teasers for news broadcasts you are missing out on the real story. Latest example is this headline, “First West Nile Case of 2020 found in county.” Sound alarming? Not to worry because if you read the story you would know that a 61 year old man fell ill and was briefly hospitalized after visiting Yuma, Arizona. It was contracted in another state but if you only read the headline you thought oh my gosh now we have West Nile Virus in the county.

There is a new business in town that is unique. Located at 1281 N. Escondido Blvd is Pinsar Ella. Pinsa Romana Crusts are ancient Roman pizza and mozzarella. This is quite authentic since the baker is a new arrival to the USA from Rome, Italy. Can’t get more Italian than that.

This plate is on a car that wants to be found M STOLEN. How about NRTHLTS. From Alaska?

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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