Valley Water actively seeks ways to reduce our carbon footprint. For decades now, we have added renewable energy sources at some of our facilities, such as installing solar panels to our administration building and a solar carport at our headquarters parking lot.
In 2018, the Valley Water Board of Directors approved participation in the Recurrent Energy Slate Solar Project (Slate Project), a 350-megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar project in Kings County. It’s one of the largest solar energy projects in California. The Slate Project is scheduled to be up and running in 2021 and will be able to provide enough solar energy to power 91,000 homes annually.
Valley Water negotiated an agreement with the Power and Water Resources Pooling Authority (PWRPA) to secure 1.5 MW of solar energy at a very competitive price. Our allocation alone is just a small piece of the pie, but enough to provide some of the power used at our offices, water treatment plants, pump stations, Silicon Valley Water Purification Center, and other water utility facilities.
The Valley Water Board of Directors recently approved adding a 500-kilowatt battery energy storage system along with the 1.5 MW solar energy.
The battery energy storage system will allow us to save the harnessed energy until we need it. We can have the clean energy generated during the day and released onto the grid during high-energy usage in the evening. Think of it as having clean energy on demand. It is also an effective way to manage supply and demand of energy usage in addition to ensuring the power grid’s safe and reliable operation.
Renewable energy generated by this solar project will contribute to Valley Water’s continued efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help protect the environment.