Inland Empire Utilities Agency and Advanced Microgrid Solutions Launch First-of-its-Kind Energy Storage Project
Clean tech energy storage leader Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) today launched a landmark water-energy project using advanced energy storage systems to better integrate renewable power, reduce demand on the electric grid and lower costs. The first-of-its-kind link between storage and renewable resources at a public water agency, installed and activated ahead of today’s dedication ceremony, positions IEUA as the industry leader in approaches to sustainability and carbon reduction. The project further enables IEUA to protect its customers while addressing the link between water and the energy needed to process and transport it, known as the “water-energy nexus.” 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 all the total electricity and 30 percent of non-power plant related natural gas consumed in California.
The 3.65 MW of advanced energy storage installed at IEUA are placed at six regional water-recycling facilities and pump stations across its service area, helping to meet the water demand of a thirsty Southern California in addition to saving the agency five to 10 percent of its energy costs each year. The storage system will also help integrate IEUA’s renewable resources, which include 3.5 MW of solar, 1 MW of wind and 2.8 MW of biofuel cell generation. IEUA maintains a well-earned reputation as a leader in clean energy and environmental stewardship. Beginning with the construction of its headquarters buildings in 2003, IEUA became the first public building in the nation to be awarded a LEED platinum rating. In addition to existing solar and wind power, in 2010, the agency installed the largest fuel cell system powered by renewable biogas in the world and reduced energy consumption by nearly 25 percent with aggressive energy efficieny measures including installation of submetering equipment, retrofits of lighting and pumps, and repair of aeration systems to minimize leakes, among other solutions.
The dedication event featured thought leaders from the energy industry and water agencies, as well as local and federal elected officials who set the regulatory and policy environment in which projects like the one at IEUA operate and thrive: “We remain proud of our investments in energy efficiency, renewable generation and sustainable water management practices,” said IEUA Board President Terry Catlin. “Energy storage is the key to maximizing the value of those investments, allowing us to use our resources more efficiently, reduce costs for our customers and participate in building a more resilient electric grid for the whole region.”
“Investing in clean, efficient resources is the best way to lay the foundation for a sustainable water and energy future,” said U.S. Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona). “This project is a tremendous example of what can be built upon that foundation and will serve as a model to utility agencies and local and state governments across the country.” “It’s exciting to see our local agency setting an example with the kind of innovative investment we in the legislature have encouraged,” said State Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino). “IEUA’s forward thinking is a boon to Inland Empire water and electricity consumers, in that our communities will benefit from increased reliability and reduced demand on the electric grid.”
“IEUA’s leadership when it comes to water management and renewable energy is recognized across the whole industry,” said Susan Kennedy, AMS founder and CEO. “Displaying the foresight to tackle the water-energy nexus head on is further demonstration of that leadership on behalf of the agency, the industry and water customers all throughout its service territory.”