Scottsdale Water begins use of power from Hoover Dam

On October 1, 2017, Scottsdale Water will begin receiving energy from Hoover Dam – a significant step in the utility’s commitment to environmental and financial stewardship. 
Water weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon. Every day, Scottsdale Water treats and delivers an average of 68 million gallons of drinking water, collects and treats about 20 million gallons of sewage, and delivers up to another 20 million gallons of recycled water. Moving and treating that much water requires an extraordinary amount of energy. In fact, Scottsdale Water uses more electricity annually than all other city departments combined and is constantly looking for ways to curtail energy use and costs.

The utility requires an average of almost 39,000 kW and over 143,000,000 kWh of electrical power annually to continuously provide high quality, reliable water and sewer service to its customers. (For reference, the average family of four uses about 13,000 kWh annually.) This power has historically been provided through a combination of both Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project, with an annual fiscal impact of more than $16,000,000, or about 18 percent of the utility’s operating budget. 

In an effort to diversify its energy supply portfolio with renewable energy resources and achieve power cost savings, Scottsdale Water submitted an application in 2014 seeking an allocation of low-cost, renewable hydropower generated from Hoover Dam to meet a portion of its required annual energy needs.  Among all new applicants in the highly competitive process, Scottsdale Water was successful in receiving the second largest municipal allocation of Hoover Power in Arizona.

The 50-year contract awarded Scottsdale Water an allocation of 2,371 kW and 5,176,974 kWh of Hoover Power. This allocation represents approximately 3.7 percent of Scottsdale Water’s total annual energy use, and approximately 12.7 percent of the annual energy use at the Scottsdale Water Campus facility.

The net cost savings based upon projected power rates and the associated transmission costs is anticipated to be $0.02/kWh, meaning Scottsdale Water is expected to realize approximately $3.9 million in electrical power cost savings throughout the term of the agreement.

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