Energy Efficiency Programs
A significant electrical load, coupled with capacity issues with the regional electrical power grid, and the cost of electrical power led EMWD to pursue alternative sources of electrical power supply. These alternative sources included solar, digester gas, fuel cell technology and microturbines.
EMWD installed solar power generation systems at its Perris, Moreno Valley, Temecula, San Jacinto and Sun City facilities. The combined system capacity is over 21 megawatts (21,000 kilowatts) and is expected to produce over 45 million kWh/yr.; this amount is to be used at each of the respective facilities and surrounding supporting infrastructure. Each facility will have an average of 30 percent of its energy usage provided through the solar facilities.
The solar investment is anticipated to save ratepayers more than $2 million annually over the life of the system.
Digester Gas Driven Fuel Cells
Installed at EMWD’s Moreno Valley and Perris Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facilities, fuel cells—which operate on renewable fuel—provide 25 to 40 percent of each facility’s energy requirements. In addition, these fuels cells produce virtually zero emissions, cutting greenhouse gases by more than 10,600 tons annually—the equivalent of taking approximately 1,000 cars off the road for one year.
The fuel cells also save approximately $1 million per year in energy costs.
Eight 60-kw microturbines provide additional power generation. The exhaust from these microturbines heats water necessary to power a 150-ton air conditioning unit.
Microturbines save more than $300,000 a year.