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October 2010
Subscribe to Your Water – Metropolitan’s E–Newsletter.

Energy Management

Skinner Solar
The 10-acre field of solar panels at Metropolitan’s Robert A. Skinner Water Treatment Plant generates
about 2.4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean, renewable energy a year.

Metropolitan’s Board of Directors recently approved Energy Management Policies that will help Southern California’s primary water import agency contain costs, reduce its financial exposure to escalating electrical power markets, and continue establishing energy independence.

The Energy Management Policies will serve as a strategic guide to future cost-effective and environmentally responsible energy programs, projects and initiatives. Metropolitan is forecasting up to a five-fold increase in electricity costs over the next 10 years to operate its 242-mile Colorado River Aqueduct and vast distribution system.

“The use and production of power are core costs to our operations and bottom line, comprising more than 25 percent of the district’s $870 million operations budget in fiscal year 2010-11,” said Metropolitan board Chairman Timothy F. Brick.

“The specter of climate change creates the challenge of dealing with reduced hydropower along the Colorado River,” Brick said. “As one of the larger energy users in the state, we have an obligation to pursue policies that are consistent with the district’s goals to balance long-term reliability and control costs, with the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The new policies cover a broad spectrum of power-related arenas, from the nexus between water and energy to potential regulatory and legislative challenges. In addition, the policies call on Metropolitan to pursue cost-effective renewable energy projects as a hedge against future power increases and regulatory risks, as well as identify revenue streams for renewable energy facilities to help contain future costs.

Along with providing strategic guidance, the policies set the stage for Metropolitan’s board to consider several projects over the next several months, including the addition of up to 10 megawatts of new solar generation projects at four of the district’s five water treatment plants.

In the future, the board of directors is also expected to consider a large-scale renewable energy project to provide supplemental power for the Colorado River Aqueduct and various renewable energy projects at Diamond Valley Lake and other Metropolitan-owner properties.


This newsletter is produced by:
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012