Advanced Microgrid Solutions And Irvine Ranch Water District Partner On Largest Public Water Agency Energy Storage Network In The U.S.

PR Newswire
September 26, 2016

IRVINE and SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Clean tech ener­gy stor­age leader Advanced Micro­grid Solu­tions (AMS) and the Irvine Ranch Water Dis­trict (IRWD) today announced a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship to install the largest net­work of ener­gy stor­age sys­tems at a pub­lic water agency in the Unit­ed States. The cut­ting-edge grid sup­port project will enable the pub­lic water agency to store ener­gy, mak­ing it avail­able to reduce demand from the grid when request­ed by the util­i­ty with­out inter­rupt­ing water treat­ment oper­a­tions and reduc­ing the need for addi­tion­al sup­ply from fos­sil fuel gen­er­a­tion in a region chal­lenged by the clo­sure of the San Onofre Nuclear Gen­er­at­ing Station.

This inno­v­a­tive part­ner­ship puts IRWD at the fore­front of address­ing one of California’s great envi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges – the “water/​energy nexus.” Water and ener­gy use are inex­tri­ca­bly inter­twined – the pump­ing, treat­ment and dis­tri­b­u­tion of water requires sig­nif­i­cant amounts of elec­tric­i­ty. Pub­lic water agen­cies are aggres­sive­ly explor­ing how best to smooth high ener­gy demands, decrease costs and reduce their car­bon footprints.

The sys­tem will pro­vide IRWD cost sav­ings of more than $500,000 per year, help sta­bi­lize and bal­ance demand on the strapped South­ern Cal­i­for­nia elec­tri­cal grid and ulti­mate­ly advance IRWD’s sus­tain­abil­i­ty efforts. “Our agency has stepped for­ward with an inno­v­a­tive solu­tion designed to pro­tect cus­tomers while help­ing to reduce and bet­ter bal­ance South­ern California’s ener­gy demands,” said IRWD board pres­i­dent Mary Aileen Math­e­is. “This bat­tery stor­age sys­tem – the largest in the nation – pro­vides sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ings, enhanced grid sta­bil­i­ty and con­tributes to reduc­tions in green­house gas emis­sions and a small­er car­bon foot­print.” “We’re proud to part­ner with IRWD on such an advanced, clean ener­gy project,” said Susan Kennedy, CEO of AMS. “This ener­gy stor­age sys­tem builds on IRWD’s sus­tain­abil­i­ty and effi­cien­cy com­mit­ment, tak­ing it to a new lev­el in tack­ling the water-ener­gy nexus.”

The 7 MW /​ 34 MWh net­work will uti­lize Tes­la bat­ter­ies, installed at 11 of IRWD’s largest and most ener­gy-inten­sive facil­i­ties – includ­ing three water treat­ment and recy­cling plants, a deep aquifer treat­ment sys­tem, a ground­wa­ter desalter facil­i­ty and six high-ener­gy pump­ing sta­tions – as part of a major grid mod­ern­iza­tion project for South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son (SCE). The ener­gy stor­age sys­tems will be linked togeth­er as a net­work pro­vid­ing IRWD facil­i­ty man­agers real time vis­i­bil­i­ty and oper­a­tional flex­i­bil­i­ty in respond­ing to util­i­ty requests for demand reduction.

Accord­ing to the Cal­i­for­nia Ener­gy Com­mis­sion, the trans­porta­tion and treat­ment of water, treat­ment and dis­pos­al of waste­water, and the ener­gy used to heat and con­sume water account for near­ly 20 per­cent of the total elec­tric­i­ty and 30 per­cent of non-pow­er plant relat­ed nat­ur­al gas con­sumed in California.

IRWD is already a nation­al leader in sus­tain­abil­i­ty and ener­gy effi­cien­cy. In 2015, the Dis­trict com­mis­sioned a ground­break­ing study to exam­ine the aver­age amount of ener­gy need­ed to trans­port, treat and deliv­er water to cus­tomers on a per unit basis (kWh/​AF). Each facil­i­ty, a pump sta­tion or treat­ment plant for exam­ple, has its own “Ener­gy Inten­si­ty.” The study pro­vides IRWD with a com­plete view of its water-ener­gy foot­print and will be used with the ener­gy stor­age sys­tems to reduce the District’s ener­gy and car­bon foot­print while reduc­ing costs by hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars each year. This is the first instance of a pub­lic water agency active­ly com­mis­sion­ing such research.

The IRWD-AMS Project is sup­port­ed by a 10-year pow­er-pur­chase agree­ment with SCE. Under that agree­ment, AMS will design, finance, install and oper­ate ener­gy stor­age sys­tems at IRWD facil­i­ties and man­age requests from SCE for load reduc­tion at IRWD’s facil­i­ties when need­ed to bal­ance the grid. “Our util­i­ty-scale con­tracts make pos­si­ble the real­iza­tion of guar­an­teed sav­ings and accom­plish­ment for orga­ni­za­tions – par­tic­u­lar­ly pub­lic water agen­cies such as IRWD – with seri­ous ener­gy and emis­sions reduc­tion goals,” added Kennedy.

About Advanced Micro­grid Solu­tions Advanced Micro­grid Solu­tions (AMS) is pio­neer­ing the use of advanced ener­gy stor­age sys­tems for elec­tric util­i­ty grid sup­port. The com­pa­ny designs, finances, installs and man­ages advanced ener­gy stor­age solu­tions for com­mer­cial, indus­tri­al and gov­ern­ment build­ing own­ers. AMS’s unique fleet man­age­ment soft­ware pro­vides opti­mized resource man­age­ment, cost reduc­tion and rev­enue gen­er­a­tion for large-scale ener­gy users. To learn more, vis­it www​.advmi​cro​grid​.com.

About Irvine Ranch Water Dis­trict Irvine Ranch Water Dis­trict is the largest retail water agency in Orange Coun­ty, Cal­i­for­nia. Estab­lished in 1961, IRWD pro­vides high-qual­i­ty drink­ing water, reli­able waste­water col­lec­tion and treat­ment, ground-break­ing recy­cled water pro­grams, and envi­ron­men­tal­ly sound urban runoff treat­ment to more than 390,000 res­i­dents. As an inde­pen­dent, not-for-prof­it pub­lic agency, IRWD is gov­erned by a five-mem­ber pub­licly elect­ed Board of Direc­tors. To learn more, vis­it www​.irwd​.com.