Backers dedicate new energy storage systems at Inland Empire facilities

Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) on Oct. 20 launched what they called 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 recently, positions IEUA as the industry leader in approaches to sustainability and carbon reduction, they said. 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% of all the total electricity and 30% 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, saving the agency 5% to 10% 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.

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% 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.

“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.”

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency covers 242-square miles, distributes imported water, provides industrial/municipal wastewater collection and treatment services and other related utility services to more than 875,000 people through its member agencies which include Chino, Chino Hills, Cucamonga Valley Water District, Fontana, Fontana Water Company, Montclair, Monte Vista Water District, Ontario and Upland.

Advanced Microgrid Solutions is pioneering the use of advanced energy storage systems for electric utility grid support. The company designs, finances, installs and manages advanced energy storage solutions for commercial, industrial and government building owners.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.