San Diego water officials want to use water to store energy

New project would protect San Diego ratepayers
Posted at 7:36 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 22:36:04-04

SAN VICENTE RESERVOIR, Calif. (KGTV) - As San Diegans start to crank their air conditioners, the city and the San Diego County Water Authority are developing a way to store energy by using water.  Water officials said it’s expected to save ratepayers money in the long run.

The city and authority want to build an Energy Storage Facility at the San Vicente Reservoir.  Right now, the reservoir is an emergency water storage for San Diego.  It holds enough water to last 500,000 households an entire year.

“Which would be vital if we couldn’t get water into the region,” said SDCWA Energy Program Manager Kelly Rodgers.

Rodgers said they want to use unused, extra energy from the Sunrise Powerlink to pump water to a new smaller reservoir above the San Vicente Reservoir.  Then the water would be returned to the larger reservoir through a series of turbines to generate even more renewable power. 

“This is a big battery to store that clean energy for later use,” said Rodgers.

“It’s a pretty simple process really,” said Brent Eidson of the City of San Diego.  He added the energy generated would help water rates.

“It’s going to end up being a more affordable product in the end.  It’s going to be better for ratepayers,” he said.

Rodgers said the 500 megawatts generate and stored by the project would be enough for 325,000 households every year.

Right now, the SDCWA and city are searching for a partner to proceed with the project that’s expected to be completed by 2025.