Many water customers in Washington County will be glad to learn about new, sustainable practices at the Joint Water Commission (JWC) Water Treatment Plant (WTP) that will result in cost and energy savings for the WTP and its member agencies.
The JWC is a partnership between Cities of Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Beaverton, and the Tualatin Valley Water District. The JWC is responsible for treating, transmitting and storing drinking water for approximately 365,000 customers in Washington County. With capabilities to treat up to 75 million gallons of water a day, JWC staff know how energy and water are intertwined and realizes the importance of saving both resources.
The JWC Water Treatment Plant (WTP) was approached by PGE to participate in its EnerNOC power reduction program. During times of peak power usage, EnerNOC can request that the WTP shutdown and leave power on the grid. PGE would pay then pay the JWC for not using power.
After learning that participants in the program could still choose not to shut down during an event if timing was bad, JWC staff worked with representatives from PGE and EnerNOC to create a customized energy plan for JWC that includes a full shutdown of the plant for a few hours at a time during the winter, and reducing the use of selected pumps in the summer based on production needs.
Over the winter, the JWC WTP participated in two high power usage events of two hours each. By shutting down WTP production, the JWC reduced draw on the grid by almost two megawatts, reducing its energy costs and generating extra revenue at the same time. The JWC received payment of approximately $28,000 for participating in the two shutdowns. The program is a win-win for both agencies who are able to meet their goals while still saving money and energy.
By participating in the Energy Partner program, Joint Water Commission is putting power back on the grid during peak times when it is most needed, demonstrating sensible stewardship of public resources, and helping to ensure reliable, responsible energy for Oregon.