Southern California Edison (SCE) today presented Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) with an incentive check representing a rebate of more than $227,000, thanks to significant upgrades at the district’s largest wastewater reclamation plant.
As a result of the recent upgrades, almost 2.3 million kilowatts of electricity is being saved annually, resulting in CVWD saving nearly $245,000 a year in energy costs. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by almost 2 million pounds a year.
“Coachella Valley Water District is committed to saving all types of resources, not just water,” said CVWD General Manager Jim Barrett. “This is a win-win situation for us and Southern California Edison, with a significant amount of rate payer money saved.”
The wastewater reclamation plant in Palm Desert was built primarily in the 1970s and some of the original equipment has survived for decades. The air process blowers, for example, still worked but were highly inefficient. They had few controls, no automation and had to be on at 100% of the 500 horsepower (HP) each possessed all of the time to ensure the plant continued to operate.
The Aeration System Upgrade replaced the six original air process blowers with technologically advanced equipment custom made for the plant. New blowers, also capable of 500 HP, are fully automated and operate only as needed, at variable percentages of HP. Information needed to determine their correct level of operation is available constantly; with the old blowers, such information took hours to obtain.
The upgrades have been implemented over the past five years at a cost of approximately $12.7 million. CVWD utilized Lockheed Martin as what is known as a third party project resource through the program.
The rebate is part of SCE’s Customized Energy Efficiency Program, which offers financial incentives to non-residential customers to make permanent energy efficiency measures.
The Coachella Valley Water District is a public agency governed by a five-member board of directors. The district provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage, wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional storm water protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves approximately 109,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.