Solar Array Added to Power Agricultural District’s Irrigation Systems

Tranquillity Irrigation District, which serves the water needs of the 10,750-acre agricultural community of Tranquillity in Fresno County, today announces plans to build a 1.8 megawatt ground-mounted solar tracker system that will provide enough electricity to meet 50 percent of the agency’s energy demand. Borrego Solar Systems Inc., a leading designer, developer, installer and O&M …

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.borregosolar.com

“[…] Tranquillity will save a net $10 million over the 25-year term of its power purchase agreement (PPA)—a financing mechanism that enables customers to invest in solar without any upfront costs. The District will buy the energy produced from the system owner at a set price over the PPA agreement term.

“Solar was clearly the best use for our site, especially considering the savings we’ll realize for our residents through the PPA – it’s truly a win-win,” said Danny Wade, general manager of Tranquillity Irrigation District. “The reality is that we will continue to be plagued with limited water resources for the foreseeable future, and solar is a sustainable solution to help us deal with the resulting energy demand and cost increase due to the drought. Any water district in the state should be investigating whether solar works for them.”

Given the ongoing drought in California, the District has needed to use its wells more than it had pre-drought. As a result, more electricity is needed to power the pumps bringing water toward the surface. The District is trying to provide water to its landowners and the community of Tranquillity as efficiently and economically as it can. For example, the District recently received a $5 million grant from the California State Department of Health to build a necessary water treatment facility. The solar tracker system will be placed adjacent to the treatment facility on land already owned by the District. […]

In its first year of operation, the array will generate an estimated 3.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity— enough to power approximately 450 homes. The installation will offset more than 760 metric tons of CO2 equivalents annually, which is the equivalent of taking 162 cars off the road for a year or the amount of carbon sequestered by 630 acres of mature U.S. forests each year.

ABOUT TRANQUILLITY IRRIGATION DISTRICT

Tranquillity Irrigation District was formed January 22, 1918, as a public agency designed to serve the local community with water supplies. It is the second oldest such agency in Fresno County. A Board of Directors elected from the community at-large governs the District. The District is approximately 10,750 acres in size and is located in the west central portion of Fresno County in the Great Central Valley of California. The District farmland produces a variety of commodities including: cotton (pima and acala), canning tomatoes, alfalfa for seed, sugar beets and almonds. Its principal community is the unincorporated town of Tranquillity.  […]”

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

96 Million ‘Shade Balls’ Installed to Cover L.A.’s Reservoirs

A California woman, for one, who wants to ease the drought, put disabled vets to work, and make some money

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.bloomberg.com

>” […] The shade balls of Los Angeles are 4 inches in diameter, hollow, polyethylene orbs […] The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has now dumped 96 million balls into local reservoirs to reduce evaporation and block sunlight from encouraging algae growth and toxic chemical reactions. The balls are coated with a chemical that blocks ultraviolet light and helps the spheres last as long as 25 years. Las Virgenes, north of L.A., now uses shade balls, too. […]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has encouraged the nation’s water managers in recent years to find ways to cover or contain their resources, to prevent sunlight from reacting with chlorine and possibly creating carcinogens, says Ed Osann, a senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council. The shade balls shouldn’t pose a pollution problem in themselves, he says, since “everything that comes in contact with drinking water has to be a certified material.” Chase says the balls are designed not to degrade.

The shade balls are a novel way to protect drinking water, and Californians’ latest attempt to adjust to their four-year drought. […]”<

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Water Prices in 2015 Up 6 Percent in 30 Major U.S. Cities

Continuing a trend that reflects the disrepair and shows no sign of slowing, the price of residential water service in 30 major U.S. cities rose faster than the cost of nearly every other household staple last year …

Source: www.circleofblue.org

>” […] The economics of water — particularly the cost of treatment, pumping, and new infrastructure, as well as the retail price for consumers — gained renewed prominence as California and Texas, America’s two most populous states, face historic droughts and water managers seek to rein in water consumption, with price increases as one tool in their arsenal.

The average monthly cost of water for a family of four using 100 gallons per person per day climbed 6 percent, according to data collected from the utilities. It is the smallest year-to-year change in the six-year history of the Circle of Blue survey but comparable to past years. The median increase this year was 4.5 percent. In comparison, the Consumer Price Index rose just 1.8 percent in the 12 months ending in March, not including the volatile food and energy sectors. Including food and energy, prices fell by 0.1 percent.

For families using 150 gallons and 50 gallons per person per day, average water prices rose 6 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.

The survey results reflect broad trends in the municipal water industry that nearly every U.S. utility must grapple with, according to Andrew Ward, a director of U.S. public finance for Fitch Ratings, a credit agency.

Distribution pipes, which can branch for thousands of miles beneath a single city, have aged beyond their shelf life and crack open daily. Some assessments peg the national cost of repairing and replacing old pipes at more than $US 1 trillion over the next two decades. In addition, new treatment technologies are needed to meet Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act requirements, and cities must continue to pay down existing debts. At the same time, conservation measures have proven successful. Utilities are selling less water, but they still need big chunks of revenue to cover the substantial cost of building and maintaining a water system. All together, these and other factors amount to a persistent upward pressure on water rates. […]

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Water-Smart Power: Strengthening the U.S. Electricity System in a Warming World (2013) | UCSUSA

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

This report shows how the U.S. can build an electricity system that protects our water resources and dramatically reduces global warming emissions.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The country stands at a critical crossroads. Many aging, water-intensive power plants are nearing the end of their lives. The choices we make to replace them will determine the water and climate implications of our electricity system for decades to come.

Today’s electricity system cannot meet our needs in a future of growing demand for power, worsening strains on water resources, and an urgent need to mitigate climate change.

[…]

Energy-water collisions are happening now, and are poised to worsen in a warming world

  • The heat waves and drought that hit the U.S. in 2011 and 2012 shined a harsh light on the vulnerability of the U.S. power sector to extreme weather, and revealed water-related electricity risks across the country.
  • When plants cannot get enough cooling water, they must cut back or completely shut down their generators, as happened in 2011 and 2012 at plants around the country.
  • Nationally, the 2012 drought was the worst in half a century. Amid soaring temperatures in the Midwest, several power plant operators got permission to discharge exceptionally hot water rather than reduce power output.
  • Electricity-water collisions are poised to worsen in a warming world as the power sector helps drive climate change. Extreme weather conditions that have historically been outliers are expected to become standard fare.<

See on www.ucsusa.org