The recent power outages and brown-outs in California are forcing more and more companies in the state to reconsider their stance on solar power. Companies from San Diego to San Francisco are now seriously considering switching many of their basic electrical needs from utility-generated electricity to a solar power source that they own and operate themselves — one that no third party can ever turn off or charge more in fees.

Silicon Valley is especially determined at this time to free itself from the bondage of utility power grids that have become all too unreliable due to bankruptcy disputes, state utility regulation, and decaying utility lines that are not being maintained. Plus companies in Silicon Valley have always been big boosters of reducing their carbon footprints and going greener than green. Solar panels are an obvious choice for them.

For oenophiles the thought of power outages affecting the vin rose or muscatel they want to serve at their next buffet is enough to give them a premature hangover. So the vineyards of northern California are now banding together to purchase both solar panels and microgrids to control the amount of electricity produced.

One heartening trend is the lower prices of solar panels as manufacturers learn how to make them cheaper — the bad news is that the most inexpensive solar panels come from China right now, and there’s no guarantee they won’t become victims of the continuing tariff wars.