Liquid News

Project Wins Public-Private Partnership Award

Irvine Ranch Water District’s award-winning Energy Storage Project, which will save water customers half a million dollars a year, has earned another prestigious prize for public-private partnership, the District announced today.

The Orange County Business Council presented its Best Public-Private Partnership Award to the project, honoring collaboration between the District, Macquarie Capital, Advanced Microgrid Solutions and Southern California Edison.

Macquarie Group is owner and operator of the energy storage system, which when built was the largest energy storage system for on-site power in the United States. The project was designed and is maintained by AMS, and uses AMS’s industry-leading transactive energy management platform to produce the most efficient, reliable and cost-effective system possible.

The 6.25 MW/35.7 MWh network of high-efficiency lithium batteries — installed at 6 water treatment, recycling and pumping facilities throughout Irvine Ranch Water District — allows IRWD to buy and store electricity when rates are low, then use that energy to power operations during peak hours when rates are high.

Projected to save the District $500,000 or more in energy costs annually with no upfront investment, the installation also provides a source of stored power for Southern California Edison to tap when necessary to avoid service interruptions. Renewable energy is being incorporated into the project for even more economic and environmental benefits.

One of the largest installations of its kind in the United States, the project addresses an underlying challenge in the water industry: the water-energy nexus.

By harnessing renewable energy sources, reducing demand on the power grid and saving money on the electricity needed to deliver water to customers, IRWD, Macquarie Capital, Advanced Microgrid Solutions and Southern California Edison have teamed up on a project that fully addresses this concept.

“Through these partnerships, IRWD developed an energy solution that not only saves money but improves the reliability of the grid for the region,” General Manager Paul Cook said. “This project is an example of the broad benefits we can achieve when innovative public and private agencies work together.”

Previous awards presented to the project include the Golden Hub of Innovation Award from the Association of California Cities, Orange County; and the Best Energy Program Award for medium utilities from the California Municipal Utilities Association.

For the Orange County Business Council Public-Private Partnership Award, IRWD shared top honors with the Orange County Department of Education, which was recognized for its OC Pathways program.

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