Side note: I'm really happy they're also going with a decentralized per-household approach rather than just a small group of giant sun farms.
Here in New England, we have an abundance of water power. Prior to WWII Connecticut was noted for it. There were these little unmanned generating stations all over the place with 5 or 6 foot dams on relatively small but fast rivers. After the Depression and prior to WWII however, the state (fuelled by federal project money) started building massive centralized power stations. Mostly coal fired generators located on what used to be beautiful coastline.
The argument was that the small dams were "inefficient" and lacked an economy of scale, whereas central power stations were easier to maintain and far more efficient. What fell out of the new equation was that these small stations also provided redundancy, were more robust by virtue of being decentralized, and non-polluting. But they didn't give the electric utilities the same hard-on as seeing a gigantic monster power plant with their logo on it sitting by the seashore with it's half dozen (or more) 200' stacks belching a cloud of smoke into the sky. Muy macho! I like!!!It's that grand old smog
It's that low lying smog
You can tell by the stench and the pall...
Though it clouds our skies
And it burns our eyes,
It means there Employment for All...
Sad thing is, half of those little dams are still there and could be put back in operation with relatively little effort.
Had a school chum. His family spent their summers up in New Hampshire. His father had one of those little power dams on this huge parcel of land he owned. On a lark the old man did some research (he was a PE by trade) and gradually restored and recommissioned the thing. More as a hobby project than anything else. It wound up generating all the power he ever needed for the summer house he had built there and then some. They actually had to run it far below it's capacity because they couldn’t use anywhere near as much power as it was capable of generating. He did have a minor flap with the county regulators over it initially. All in the name of "public safety" and "fire codes" of course. But in the end (NH being the "Live Free of Die!" state) my buddy's old man won out. AFAIK that little power station is still in operation to this day.
When I was actively involved in a lot of what has since come to be called "integral urban" and "sustainable living," one of the things that used to get thrown at us "commune" and "ecology freaks" was that we were trying to "Send the country back to the stone age." (Horrors!) But that wasn't true at all. We were just trying to roll things back to the 1930s
with its right-sized population and technology levels. Because right after WWII, the USA began transitioning over to its current global
industrial-economic model - and stopped being self-sufficient when it came to food, water, natural resources, and energy.Big
mistake IMHO - but so it goes.