The project is expected to lower energy costs and maximize renewable energy usage.
The Ventura County Public Works Agency Water and Sanitation (VCPWA-WS) department and PowerFlex-an EDF Renewables Company are working to install a new Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and associated smart microgrid infrastructure at the Moorpark Water Reclamation Facility (MWRF). The project will allow the plant to reduce energy costs and electricity rates during high peak use periods when electricity is most expensive.
The 750 kilowatt (kW) 3,000 kilowatt-hour (kWh) BESS and smart microgrid infrastructure improvements at the MWRF improves the plant’s redundancy and maximizes use of its local green power production during a power outage.
The MWRF is a critical infrastructure facility for handling sanitary sewer collection for the Ventura County Waterworks District (VCWWD) No. 1. The plant currently features a 999 kW rated solar panel field to power the plant when sufficient sunlight is available, a 1,000 kW diesel generator to power the plant during emergency power outages, and a Southern California Edison (SCE) power feed to provide power when solar is not available. The battery storage and microgrid will integrate with the existing solar and diesel generator to isolate the facility during a power outage in order maintain operations. Without the microgrid, the solar panels would otherwise turn off during an outage.
“It is the goal of the VCPWA-WS to always be vigilant for opportunities that have the capabilities to improve the District’s infrastructure, stay up to date on new technology improvements, and be conscious of its role in helping improve our environment and lower costs to the customers it serves,” said Joe Pope, Director of Water and Sanitation.
The project is funded by leveraging PowerFlex’s financing model along with incentive funding provided by the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Self-Generation Incentive Program’s (SGIP) Equity Resilience budget and is estimated to save the District and its customers $355,400 over the 15-year life of the battery through a reduction in/of demand charges and energy charges during on-peak time-of-use charges.
“Projects like this would not be possible if not for the innovative and collaborative nature of the Water and Sanitation Department,” said Jeff Pratt, Ventura County Public Works Agency Director. “The vision of its staff and leadership to see beyond the current issue and ways of doing things help to envision and plan for what the future will bring.”
“The resilient solution we can provide to VCPWA-WS is part of a portfolio of microgrid projects that PowerFlex is deploying with public and private entities throughout California,” said Michael Robinson, Associate Director – Microgrids & Distributed Solutions at PowerFlex. “The BESS and microgrid will optimize grid-connected operations of the existing solar system by allowing the facility to draw from the stored energy during the utility’s expensive evening on-peak period. Utility costs can further be reduced by discharging the battery to mitigate spikes in usage thereby lowering demand charges.”