San Marcos, CA – In 2017, the Vallecitos Water District Board of Directors agreed to pursue development of district-wide renewable power sources using existing open space to benefit the District and its ratepayers. Two projects are now complete; two arrays at the pair of Vallecitos owned reservoirs in Twin Oaks Valley, and an array at the (sewer) Lift Station #1, located on San Marcos Boulevard.
Today, the Vallecitos Board of Directors officially finished the project with a ribbon cutting at the Twin Oaks Valley location. “The project is a great benefit to Vallecitos customers,” said Mike Sannella, Board President. “Through our export of power into the electrical grid, we receive bill credits. The District benefits directly through reduced power costs, and that cost savings is passed down to the customer in reduced water and sewer rates.”
From left to right: Board Member Jim Pennock, Board Member Jim Hernandez, Board Vice President Craig Elitharp, Board President Mike Sannella, Board Member Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson, General Manager Glenn Pruim.
The projects are structured under a Power Purchase Agreement. A solar provider designs, builds, and maintains the systems for 25 years. In turn, the District receives a reduced electricity rate from SDG&E over the 25-year term at the District’s 13 highest use meters. The District will become owners of the solar system after the 25-year maintenance term expires. No capital investment is required from the District.
Vallecitos Water District provides the project sites, working with SDG&E, the solar provider team, the District’s contractors, and the solar maintenance operator. The District’s water professionals work with solar power experts to guide the project through planning, design, and construction as a team.
“The District wants to publicly thank TerraVerde Energy, Holt Renewables, and Kenyon Energy for their valuable roles in the success of this project,” said Sannella. “We also want to acknowledge the effort of the District’s inhouse engineering team.”
From left to right: Aaron Arriaga Holt Renewables, Thaddeus Zaparzynski Kenyon Energy, Ryan Morgan Vallecitos Water District, David Burdick TerraVerde Energy, Thomas Biddinger Kenyon Energy.
Over the 25-year term, the District will benefit from a reduced electrical rate of 7.79 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) at its 13 highest use meters. It will also receive a rebate or credit on its export of power to the electrical grid. Savings to the District over 25 years are estimated at $8.3 million, which ultimately results in reduced water and sewer rates for customers. District staff locked in the maximum federal rebate by launching the project in 2019 and meeting a narrow window for grant funding.
About Vallecitos Water District: As an independent, special district, Vallecitos is dedicated to providing water, wastewater, and reclamation services to over 105,000 people in a 45-square-mile area that includes San Marcos; the community of Lake San Marcos; portions of Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista; and other surrounding unincorporated areas.
Due to the evolving situation with the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus and Executive Order N-29-20, Vallecitos holds board meetings via teleconferencing. The public is encouraged to watch or listen to the meeting from their homes and observe the meeting electronically or listen in by phone. The District’s Board meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. To provide public comments prior to the meeting, submit comments via e-mail at PublicComment@VWD.org up to 90 minutes in advance of the meeting. Comments received are handled by the Clerk of the Board of Directors as if submitted in person. All written comments that are received at least 90 minutes before the meeting will be provided to the Board, and a record of the receipt of comment will be noted during the meeting. To comment during the meeting or to watch or listen to the live meeting, go to www.vwd.org/meetings. Board meetings are also televised on San Marcos TV. Visit www.san-marcos.net/smtv for a complete programming schedule.