Siemens solar energy project in California to save millions in water, wastewater treatment costs
Wasco, Calif. projected to achieve more than $8.6M in energy savings, 41.7M kWh in reduced energy usage by end of 15-year performance contract.
WASCO, CA, AUG 16, 2018 -- An energy savings performance contract (ESPC) with Siemens will allow the city of Wasco, Calif., to use energy savings to fund a solar project situated on a former burn dump. The renewable energy produced will help offset approximately 60 percent of the city's current energy usage and costs associated with its municipal buildings as well as the treatment and distribution of water and wastewater.
"This project means a great deal to our city, and it's our first ever renewable energy project," says Gilberto Reyna, Mayor of Wasco. "By the end of the performance contract, we're projecting to have saved enough energy to power nearly 3,100 homes for a year!"
In municipalities, water and wastewater utilities are typically the largest energy consumers, often accounting for 30 to 40 percent of total energy consumed. Operating expenses to treat water, pump it to homes and businesses, and then treat the resulting wastewater can be costly. Wasco is no exception, as it uses approximately 4.7M kWh annually and spends $713,000 per year for water/wastewater treatment and distribution.
To help reduce its water pumping and treatment expenses, the city entered into a 15-year performance contract with Siemens to build a 1.8 MW-solar power system on a 6-acre site adjacent to the city's wastewater treatment facility. Wasco is projected to realize $410,687 in energy savings and reduce its energy usage by 2.8M kWh the first year post-construction, with expected total energy savings of more than $8.6M over the life of the contract.
"Performance contracting is part of Siemens' Total Energy Management approach. It can provide options for reducing energy usage and operating costs, increasing energy efficiency and sustainability, and making better use of existing infrastructure," says Andrew Krynen, Zone Vice President, Siemens Building Technologies Division. "The solar project with Wasco combined all three elements, while also helping the city remain fiscally prudent."
The solar project will also take advantage of a Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE) program called Renewable Energy Self-generation Bill Credit Transfer (RES-BCT), which allows cities to build up to 5 MW of renewable generation on one site, and provides a credit for excess solar energy that is produced.
Wasco is located about 140 miles northwest of Los Angeles in the San Joaquin Valley. Its former burn dump was capped and remediated in the 1970s, and has very limited use. However, it provided an ideal location for a sizable solar panel installation to support the city's wastewater treatment facility.
"We're tapping into a program that will offset our energy costs for water pumping and treatment, and we're able to make creative use of a site that would otherwise be left vacant. We're looking forward to the years ahead," says Mayor Reyna.
Siemens has helped its customers realize more than $2 billion in energy and operational savings over the past 10 years. The company has implemented more than 1,000 guaranteed performance contract projects for its customers, updating thousands of buildings with the latest energy savings technologies. Its energy services and solutions range from energy savings analysis, to implementation of facility improvement measures, to ongoing monitoring and verification.
The Siemens Building Technologies Division (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) is the North American market leader for safe and secure, energy-efficient and environment-friendly buildings and infrastructures. As a technology partner, service provider, system integrator and product vendor, Building Technologies has offerings for fire protection, life safety and security as well as building automation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and energy management. Siemens' Total Energy Management approach helps customers consume sparingly, spend wisely, generate responsibly, and analyze continuously.