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Yucaipa Valley Water District invests in solar microgrid for filtration, recycling facilities

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 03rd November

The Yucaipa Valley Water District (YVWD) Board of Directors approved a contract with ENGIE North America for a customized solar, storage and microgrid project. YVWD will prioritize the adoption of clean-powered energy to improve its water energy nexus at two of its most critical locations, the Yucaipa Valley Regional Water Filtration Facility, and the Wochholz Regional Water Recycling Facility.

The combined project includes 7.4 MW of solar, a 3.3-MW/13 MWh energy storage system, and 3.2-MW of natural gas gensets and microgrid controllers. YVWD’s program is expected to save $73 million over the life of the program and the district will receive nearly $7 million in incentives under California’s Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). ENGIE North America will build, own and operate the systems as well as sell energy and energy services through a 28-year PPA.

“With so many challenging events facing our community including fire and drought, our district is at the forefront of proactive problem-solving,” said General Manager Joseph Zoba from Yucaipa Valley Water district. “It is time for a more integrated approach to address the challenges and opportunities of the water-energy nexus. Maintaining the reliability and resilience of our energy and water systems is the key to long-term sustainability and our overall success. The YVWD depends on uninterrupted power 24/7 to conduct mission critical operations. This project not only allows critical facilities to remain operational if there is a grid outage but also reduces our carbon footprint.”

The YVWD manages more than 220 miles of drinking water pipelines and provides a combination of water, sewer and recycled water connections to over 22,000 ratepayers in the Inland Empire. The program will greatly improve the district’s capacity to serve residents and keep rates stable while hedging against rising energy costs. The program is designed to meet the district’s long-term resiliency goals and ensure safe, reliable power to the district’s key facilities during public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events.

In Yucaipa Valley, a historically fire-prone region of Southern California, the community has seen an increase in risks, managing fires nearly every two years. Seeking a proactive way to prepare for fire season and reduce the impact of related Public Safety Power Shutoffs, the YVWD Board of Directors selected ENGIE as their energy partner to set a useable framework for technology solutions that would address broader community needs.

News item from YVWD