The Coast News Group

Water district makes positive changes

COAST CITIES — As part of its ongoing effort to control its costs, as well as to fulfill its commitment to sustainable operations, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s board of directors authorized a direct access power purchase agreement with 3 Phases Renewables. 3 Phases Renewables is a Southern California energy service provider supplying 100 percent renewable energy via solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and low-impact hydroelectric sources.
Since energy service providers such as 3 Phases Renewables, as opposed to regulated electrical utilities, can provide only a small portion of the electrical load in each distribution service territory, the number of customers afforded direct access service is strictly limited. Despite long odds in being offered direct access service, OMWD’s foresight and tenacity in pursuing direct access service was rewarded when OMWD was offered the service earlier in 2010. Negotiations began with 3 Phases Renewables shortly thereafter, selected based on their ability to provide affordable, green energy to all of OMWD’s facilities.
“As evidenced through our Holding the Line and Tiger Team programs, OMWD leaves no stone unturned in its search for cost savings,” OMWD board President Ed Sprague said. “In the case of selecting an energy service provider with 100 percent renewable power sources, our ratepayers benefit not only from our commitment to prudent spending but also from OMWD’s commitment to sustainable operations.”
In terms of cost, the lower price per kilowatt-hour contained in the agreement is expected to save ratepayers $44,000 in the first year alone over standard bundled service. Additionally, OMWD will no longer be levied demand charges as a result of usage spikes at its facilities, which is likely to provide additional savings. These reduced costs will have no impact upon the reliability of power at OMWD facilities; OMWD customers will notice no change in their services.
Carbon emissions were drastically reduced following OMWD’s change to 100 percent renewable power sources. 3 Phases Renewables estimates that the switch will prevent approximately 10,425,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions next year, equivalent to removing 904 passenger vehicles from the roads or planting 1,008 acres of mature pine forests. The switch is also valuable in assisting OMWD to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as mandated by AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
Olivenhain Municipal Water District is a public agency providing water, wastewater services, recycled water, hydroelectricity and operation of the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve.
OMWD includes portions of the cities of Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Diego, Solana Beach, and San Marcos, as well as the communities of Olivenhain, Leucadia, Elfin Forest, Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch, Santa Fe Valley and 4S Ranch.