Olivenhain Municipal Water District Saves Green by Going Green

At its December board meeting, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a two-year contract extension with 3 Phases Renewables to provide electrical services from 100 percent renewable sources for 95 percent of OMWD water system facilities.

The 100 percent renewable power sources provided by 3 Phases Renewables result in drastically reduced carbon emissions. 3 Phases Renewables estimates that in a single year, its service to OMWD prevents approximately 10,425,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to removing 904 passenger vehicles from the roads or planting 1,008 acres of mature pine forests.

Although already providing OMWD with 100 percent renewable electricity at a lower rate than San Diego Gas & Electric, current market conditions allowed 3 Phases Renewables to offer a reduced rate over the next two years. 3 Phases Renewables forecasts the savings to be 23 percent less than the amount currently charged by SDG&E, saving OMWD ratepayers an estimated $280,000. Additionally, OMWD is no longer subject to demand charges as a result of usage spikes at its facilities, resulting in additional savings.

“OMWD is proud to continue to invest public funds wisely while also doing its part for the environment,” said OMWD Board President Lawrence A. Watt. “This partnership directly supports OMWD’s mission to pursue alternative and renewable resources to increase sustainability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.”

OMWD has found 3 Phases Renewables to be a sound and reliable energy partner since first collaborating in 2010. OMWD applied for this opportunity when the California Public Utilities Commission allowed certain industries to purchase their electrical power directly from energy service providers offering competitive rates. Many independent energy service providers were available, and OMWD elected to purchase energy from 3 Phases Renewables, a Southern California energy service provider supplying affordable and 100 percent renewable energy via solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydroelectric sources.

This effort is not only consistent with OMWD’s mission to operate sustainably, but also compliments additional efforts to utilize sustainable power. OMWD’s water treatment and distribution network includes two hydroelectric generation facilities. Energy recovery turbines at the David C. McCollom Water Treatment Plant provide the facility with nearly half its power needs, and the Roger Miller Hydroelectric Generation Facility uses high-pressure water delivered from a nearby reservoir to rotate power-producing turbines. Together, these facilities produce over 210,000 kWh of energy every month. The average home in the US uses 901 kWh per month.

View Full-Size ImageEnergy-Recovery Turbines at David C. McCollom Water Treatment Plant
Generate Power as Water Enters the Plant