EMWD Will Add Solar Power to Five Facilities

The Eastern Municipal Water District's Board of Directors approved contracts for construction of solar energy facilities at the Distri...

The Eastern Municipal Water District's Board of Directors approved contracts for construction of solar energy facilities at the District's five reclamation facilities.

The total cost of the project will be $22.9 million, but EMWD anticipates receiving $6.2 million worth of incentives from the California Solar Initiative. The cost will cover planning, design, construction, facility grading, ongoing maintenance, and administration.

A system being constructed at the Sun City reclamation facility will be used to power the District's groundwater desalination facilities and other facilities on adjacent parcels. Additionally, solar photovoltaic systems will be constructed at Regional Water Reclamation Facilities in Perris, Moreno Valley, Temecula, and San Jacinto.

Each of the five facilities will have a 1 megawatt (1,000 kilowatt) solar power generating facility on site. The new facilities will provide an average of 30 percent of the energy required to operate each of the five locations.

The 500 kilowatt photovoltaic system that was installed at EMWD's Perris headquarters in 2014, combined with the use of existing microturbines, will make the energy demands of the facility nearly grid-neutral.

"This is a significant investment for the future and one that will greatly benefit our ratepayers," EMWD President Randy Record said in the press release. "As we continue to invest in renewable energy, we can stabilize and reduce costs for our customers."

Based on a conservative four-percent annual increase in rates from Southern California Edison, there is an anticipated 12-year return on investment for the cost of the project. That timeline would accelerate if the cost of electricity were to increase more than 4 percent annually.

Based on those estimates, EMWD anticipates a cumulative 20-year savings of $37.7 million.

All five facilities are anticipated to be completed by late 2015.

"We are incredibly proud of our commitment to renewable energy sources," Record said. "As energy costs continue to rise, our investments in these facilities will really allow us to do the responsible thing for our customers and our environment."

 





 

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