By Staff Reports
(Victorville)—Energy storage is about to take a huge step forward at the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority plant in Victorville thanks to a grant from the California Energy Commission. The CEC has awarded VVWRA a $1.7 million dollar grant to install a flow cell battery storage system by Primus Power, and a micro-grid developed by the University of California. The VVWRA Board of Commissioners formally accepted the grant today and installation is expected to begin in August.
The flow cell battery storage and microgrid system will enable VVWRA to store and manage excess electricity generated at the Victorville plant, making power available during power outages caused by regular maintenance, equipment failure or other unforeseen occurrences. The microgrid will assure a consistent flow of electricity and give VVWRA employees more flexibility in operating the facility. VVWRA is currently capable of producing up to 1.6 megawatts of electricity through its Waste to Energy Program. On average, the VVWRA plant requires 1.2 megawatts to operate. A portion of the additional power will be stored in the Primus battery system, while the rest will be exported to the grid. The power exports may help offset the energy demands from the new subregional water recycling facilities being built in Apple Valley and Hesperia.
The project will enable VVWRA to modify its agreement with Southern California Edison to allow Net Energy Metering (NEM) in July of 2017. NEM will reduce VVWRA’s energy costs by approximately $400,000 per year and enable the Authority to sell renewable energy to the grid. “Selling renewable power to the electrical grid will create a new revenue source for VVWRA”, said VVWRA General Manager Logan Olds. “The grant also enables VVWRA to continue on its path towards energy neutrality, which means we will produce as much power as we use. All while exporting clean carbon neutral renewable power to the grid, and increasing our production of recycled water.”
VVWRA’s Waste to Energy Program consists of capturing and cleaning naturally occurring methane or bio-gas from the waste at the plant. The bio-gas is used to power a pair of 800 kwh 2G generators. VVWRA has been able to produce 90% or more of the electricity needed to power its operations, with the hope of becoming 100% energy neutral in the near future by exporting power. The CEC grant and brings VVWRA much closer to that goal.