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Tesla battery system installed at Silvergate Fallbrook, ensuring back-up power during local outages

FALLBROOK – When fire season rolls around, power outages can soon follow. Seniors residing at Silvergate Fallbrook will be protected from intermittent blackouts during fire events after parent company AmeriCare Health & Retirement took advantage of a unique opportunity through the California Public Utilities Commission to install several Tesla "Powerpacks" on its 5-acre senior living campus.

"Because Silvergate Fallbrook is located within a sensitive forest fire area, the community qualified for the Commission's program," said Matt Petree, vice president of development for AmeriCare. "Often when forest fires occur, the surrounding areas lose power and need to shelter in place. With this large commercial battery backup system in place, our community will be able to switch over to battery power in case of an outage, thereby creating a safer environment for our residents."

In April 2020, Silvergate Fallbrook was contacted by Tesla to partner with the company by participating in the Commission's Self Generation Incentive Program which helps fund eligible projects for communities like Silvergate. Participation in the limited-time program has allowed Silvergate to install three separate backup power systems on the site between November 2021 and April 2022 for use in times of power outages – one for each large-scale building at the community. The Tesla Powerpacks are considered one of the most technologically advanced, cutting-edge battery energy storage solutions on the market.

In the event of a power outage, whether it's brief or prolonged, the battery backup system will now be able to provide full power to the entire campus at Silvergate Fallbrook, including all resident apartments and the commercial kitchen, for approximately 8-12 hours, which is longer than most typical outages.

As a secondary benefit, the battery system also serves to "shave" energy usage off the power grid during peak hours by using the power stored in the batteries, which then recharge themselves during off-peak periods. With energy costs accelerating faster than rate of inflation, this technology investment will help Silvergate manage ever-growing utility costs for the community by approximately 20%, representing a significant savings for residents as well.

"These new battery back-up systems will help provide additional peace of mind to residents and their families if a power outage from the grid happens in the future," said Silvergate Fallbrook Executive Director Patricia Martinez. "In practical terms, that means food and medications are less likely to spoil, apartments can remain cool, and at night the lights stay on!"

Onsite back-up power makes Silvergate unique among retirement communities. "To my knowledge, we are the only senior living community in Fallbrook, and San Diego County for that matter, to have this type of backup battery system in place," said Petree. "Due to the significant upfront costs, most commercial property owners do not choose to invest in a project of this scale. Remember, this system does not simply provide backup power to a small portion of the site – like the kitchen or a large common gathering area – it provides backup power throughout the community. That requires a lot of juice!"


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