District Continues to Go Green by Expanding Use of 100 Percent Renewable Energy

By on January 22, 2020
Recycled Water Treatment

At its January board meeting, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s (OMWD) Board of Directors approved a two-year contract extension with 3 Phases Renewables, ensuring that OMWD is on track to use 100 percent renewable power at its water system facilities.

3 Phases Renewables estimates that in a single year, its current service to OMWD has prevented approximately 10.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to removing almost 1,000 passenger vehicles from the roads or planting over 1,000 acres of mature pine forests.

“Treating and transporting water are energy intensive processes,” said OMWD Board President Ed Sprague. “Purchasing renewable energy at competitive rates achieves OMWD’s mission to increase sustainability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.”

OMWD has partnered with 3 Phases Renewables since 2010 when the California Public Utilities Commission allowed certain industries to purchase their electrical power directly from energy service providers offering competitive rates. This has resulted in significantly reduced carbon emissions. The partnership has also saved OMWD hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2010, with an additional $20,000 estimated to be saved with the approval of the extension through January 2022.

Currently, 95.5 percent of OMWD’s water system facilities use the 100 percent renewable power sources provided by 3 Phases Renewables. The remaining 4.5 percent of OMWD’s facilities are eligible to be converted to renewable energy through this contract extension.

The use of renewable energy to power water system facilities is only part of OMWD’s broader efforts to operate sustainably. For example, OMWD’s water treatment and distribution network also includes two hydroelectric generation facilities that use high-pressure water delivered to rotate power-producing turbines. Together, these facilities produce over 210,000 kWh of energy every month. The average home in the US uses approximately 900 kWh per month.