Inland Empire Utilities Agency Installing Water-Energy Project


The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) has launched a water-energy project that uses energy storage systems to integrate wind, solar, biogas and grid resources to optimize renewable generation, reduce demand on the electric grid and lower energy costs.

As part of this first-of-its-kind project, IEUA says, the agency will install approximately 3.5 MW of advanced energy storage systems at its regional water-recycling facilities and pump stations in Southern California. The agency signed an agreement with San Francisco-based Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) to design, install and manage the project.

The systems will range in size from 150 kW to 1.25 MW and will be custom-designed to optimize IEUA's on-site generation, which includes solar, wind and biogas resources. The batteries will store excess renewable energy and use stored energy to power facilities when demand on the electric grid is high.

IEUA says the energy storage systems will also provide an added layer of protection against outages and enhance the agency's ability to share renewable resources between facilities.

Integrating IEUA's on-site renewable energy resources will reduce its peak demand from the grid by as much as 14% and reduce total energy costs by 5%-10%. AMS will use Powerpack commercial battery systems procured from Tesla Energy.

According to IEUA, state and federal energy agencies have found that water and energy resources are inextricably connected – a concept known as the water-energy nexus. The California Energy Commission says the transportation and treatment of water, treatment and disposal of wastewater, and the energy used to heat and consume water account for nearly 20% of the total electricity and 30% of natural gas not related to power plants consumed in California.

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