Where Batteries and Water Meet . . . Irvine, CA, Equips its City Water System with Tesla Batteries

Date: Oct. 11, 2016 –

What happens when you equip a city’s water system with advanced batteries made by Tesla? We don’t know for certain yet. However, we do know that Irvine, CA, is partnering with Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) to do it. AMS reports that the result will be the biggest battery storage facility of any kind in the U.S. Irvine expects to reduce strain on the California power grid and trim more than $500,000 a year from electrical costs.

How It Will Work

The batteries will store electricity from the power grid and then utilize it to power Irvine’s water system.

To quote from a press release from AMS and The Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) . . .

This innovative partnership puts IRWD at the forefront of addressing one of California’s great environmental challenges – the `water/energy nexus.’  Water and energy use are inextricably intertwined – the pumping, treatment and distribution of water requires significant amounts of electricity. Public water agencies are aggressively exploring how best to smooth high energy demands, decrease costs and reduce their carbon footprints.”

The installation, according to AMS, the installation will include:

  • A network of Tesla batteries installed at 11 of IRWD’s facilities, including three water treatment and recycling plants, a groundwater desalination facility, a deep aquifer treatment system, and six pumping stations.
  • The locations will be linked together as a grid that will deliver power flexibly where it is needed.

Coming Soon to a Water Authority Near You . . .

Irvine is not alone. According to “There’s Nothing Strange about a Water Authority Buying and Storing Power,” a recent article that Mark Weston wrote for the Voice of San Diego on September 20, that city is exploring the possibility of building a 500 MW energy storage facility near the San Vicente Reservoir.

Plan to Attend this Year’s Microgrids Convergence Conference

If you’d like to learn more about the future of smart cities, don’t miss our upcoming Microgrids Convergence Conference in San Mateo, CA on October 25-26. Now in its ninth year, this Summit will explore the intersection between microgrids, smart cities and advanced transportation.