Credit: File Photo | Mustang News

The city of San Luis Obispo will virtually host Re-energizing SLO – Building an Energy Resilient Future, a free community webinar discussing the future energy system of the city on Thursday, May 13, according to a press release.  

The webinar, taking place from 6:30 – 7:30 pm, is open to the public and is part of the Resilient SLO event series aiming to build an energy resilient future. 

“I think this is kind of an educational opportunity for the community and a conversation starter, in terms of how our community can make sure that we’re resilient in the future, even in the face of different climate impacts,” City of San Luis Obispo Special Projects Manager Teresa McClish said.

In addition to the future of San Luis Obispo’s energy system, also discussed during the webinar will be increased public safety, the city’s preparation for natural disasters related to climate change and the exploration of how greater energy resilience can strengthen the economy. 

Updates on the City’s Resilient SLO project, an initiative guided by the City of San Luis Obispo in order to better prepare the community for climate change impacts, will also be discussed during the webinar.

The project focuses on finding the best ways to develop community resilience based on a range of potential physical hazards that are negatively affected by climate change such as floods, extreme heat and wildfires. 

“Looking at what’s happening now with worsening wildfires and extreme heat, we can expect to see more of that due to climate change, so this is just one deep dive in terms of our energy system and a potential move toward electricity and how we can make it more resilient to worsening impacts of climate change that we see now and expect more of in the future,” McClish said.

The webinar will also include an update regarding the City’s General Plan Safety Element.

According to the press release, the Resilient SLO project is funded through a Caltrans Adaptation Planning Grant and is supported by consultants at Ascent Environmental and the Local Government Commission. 

McClish said the project has allowed the city to “take a comprehensive look at resiliency” and has recently received a vulnerability assessment through the grant that will provide a basis for how the community of San Luis Obispo can better adapt and “thrive” during heat events, floods and wildfires.

As the Resilient SLO project depends highly on community engagement and input, the webinar will present opportunities that allow ways for community members to participate. 

“So far we’ve been having discussions, we’ve been engaging in the community in different ways,” McClish said. “Now we’re going to get some technical information, and then the real work begins, we roll up our sleeves and we look at a specific suite of adaptation strategies and we can take a look at those and try to best fit which ones for the city.”

Anyone interested in attending can register here or through visiting the project website “Events” tab.

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