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.