The District expended approximately $4.8 million for electricity in 2017, and $5.0 million in 2018. In order to mitigate power costs in the future, the Board requested District staff investigate cost-effective sources of renewable energy to provide long-term sustainable energy source(s) to help offset the cost of operations. After examining potential District owned water and wastewater sites and electricity usage throughout the District, TerraVerde prepared a basis of design report (BODR) for solar power systems at the Deer Creek and El Dorado Hills Wastewater Treatment Plants, and helped staff develop and solicit a request for proposal (RFP) to enter into a long-term power provider agreement (PPA) from multiple solar providers to construct and provide alternate power sources to the District.
Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. (Borrego) was selected as the preferred solar provider following the RFP process and District staff has negotiated three 25-year solar power purchase agreements, a reimbursement agreement, and three property license agreements for board approval of new solar facilities at the El Dorado Hills and Deer Creek Wastewater Treatment Plants.
EID staff continues to be vigilant while looking for opportunities to minimize operational costs and keep our customers utility rates low. Both current and planned solar facilities are helping to not only reduce our energy costs, but also generate non-rate revenue through the sale of RECs.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is the "a third-party power provider"?
The District’s Board of Directors authorized entering into a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Borrego Solar. Borrego Solar will operate and maintain the solar facilities on District owned property and will in turn sell all power produced by these facilities to the District at a fixed reduced rate.
- What is "a fixed reduced rate"? And how is this "fixed reduced rate" compare with existing PG&E rate?
Unlike PG&E rates, the rate included in the PPA will not be subject to annual or other incremental increases. The fixed rate varies with each site, but is planned to average $0.09 /kWh for all power produced. PG&E rates vary based on time of day and total energy used. Currently PG&E rates average $0.12 /kWh for the two sites.
- Where will the power produced be used?
Per PG&E’s current NEM 2.0 program, power produced from the new solar fields will be used to offset only power consumed PG&E meters at the District’s El Dorado Hills and Deer Creek Wastewater Treatment plants.
- How much energy will the sites produce?
El Dorado Hills Wastewater Treatment Plant
The new solar facility has been sized to offset approximately 69% of the power consumed at the UV disinfection facility. The existing solar facility will continue to offset approximately 47% of the power consumed through the remaining plant processes. Together approximately 60% of the total power consumption of the plant will be offset by solar.
Deer Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
Site 1 at Deer Creek has been sized to offset approximately 69% of the power consumed at the plant's UV disinfection facility. Site 2 has been sized to offset approximately 79% of the power consumed at the headworks and aeration basins, and other processes throughout the plant.
Together approximately 70% of the total power consumption of the plant will be offset by solar.
- Will the building cost, future maintenance / operation cost be paid by EID customers?
All construction and maintenance cost will be paid by Borrego Solar. These costs are amortized and included in the fixed rate that has been negotiated with Borrego Solar.