Arnold M. Ramirez, Miroslav Penchev, Michael Todd, Alfredo Martinez-Morales, Sadrul Ula, Henry Gomez
The Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority intended to develop an energy management system that uses an experimental energy management controller (smart controller) coupled with an innovative battery storage technology (flow battery) and improve power quality to increase recycled water generation. The energy management system would stop violations of the California Public Utilities Commission’s Rule 21 governing interconnection and minimum import agreements. These agreements require that the generators must continuously import power from the utility and cannot supply 100 percent of the energy and power for the wastewater treatment plant from its own on-site biogas generation. Violations of the minimum import agreement reduce the production of renewable energy on-site and was thought to result in poor power quality shut down of the site’s recycled water equipment. The energy management system was designed to use Primus Power flow batteries, which would better control electric power load to and from the grid. Primus Power was only able to deliver two of the eight flow batteries it had committed, and thus the full energy management system was not completed for the project. Although the energy management system as originally conceived could not be constructed and tested, other components of the system were built. The smart controller was constructed and programmed. A foundation for the flow batteries was created and its ability to command the batteries was evaluated with the two delivered batteries. Although not tied to the energy management system, the project resulted in collaboration with Southern California Edison to make improvements to power quality and prompted a new interconnection agreement that eliminated minimum import requirements. These events freed the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority to increase its renewable energy generation and production of recycled water.