Energy storage system integrator Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) has struck a deal to install the largest network of energy storage systems at a public water agency in the US. The 7MW energy storage network, providing 34MWh of storage capacity, will utilise Tesla’s Powerpack batteries.
The Tesla units will be placed at the 11 most energy-intensive facilities owned by the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD), the largest retail water agency in Orange County, California. These include three water treatment plants, a deep aquifer treatment system, a groundwater de-salter facility and six high-energy pumping stations.
The California Energy Commission reckons the transportation and treatment of water and wastewater, as well as the energy used to heat and consume it, accounts for almost 20% of the total electricity consumed in California. US water agencies are looking to decrease costs, as well as to reduce their carbon footprints, said AWS. It calculates the new battery system will save IRWD US$500,000 per year.
The initiative also forms part of a broader infrastructure modernisation project by local grid operator Southern California Edison (SCE), which appointed Tesla earlier this month to supply a 20MW / 80MWh energy storage system, slated to be the largest of its kind, at its Mira Loma substation in California.
The new IRWD project supports a 10-year power-purchase agreement between the parties, where AMS is tasked with funding and managing energy storage systems at IRWD’s facilities, including requests from SCE to reduce their power loads to balance the local electrical grid.
The closure of the San Onofre nuclear power station on the Pacific Coast has put a burden on other energy resources in the region, and the Tesla battery system at IRWD will reduce additional supply from fossil fuel generation, and provide grid balancing to SCE without interrupting water treatment operations.
AMS chief executive Susan Kennedy said: “Our utility-scale contracts make possible the realization of guaranteed savings and accomplishment for organisations – particularly public water agencies such as IRWD – with serious energy and emissions reduction goals.”
In July, AWS secured US$200 million of project finance from Macquarie Capital, considered the largest project funding deal in the sector to date. The proceeds have been earmarked for initiatives such as the IRWD deal and SCE modernisation project.