Self Generation - Olivenhain Case Study

Water District Invests in Clean Power Generation 

Pressure Reduction Turbine

The OMWD found a cost-effective solution to reduce energy costs while furthering its commitment to reducing its environmental impact. In 2013, the district invested in a clean generation technology that produces electricity on-site with no air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. By installing two pressure reduction turbines, they are now self-producing enough power for half of the plant’s energy needs while saving some $500,000 dollars a year on their utility bills.

The building owners were able to take advantage of the Self-Generation Incentive Program to increase the property’s value, significantly reduce energy consumption and utility costs and eliminate 2,725 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.



Thanks to the efforts of the OMWD, residents in a large section of
San Diego North County now drink water treated by 100% clean energy.

The water district is using a turbine technology that generates power from the reduction in pressure in water pipelines to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. A Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) rebate administered by the Center for Sustainable Energy reduced OMWD’s system cost by $625,000, nearly one-third of the total price. The district purchases the remaining 50% of needed electricity directly from a renewable energy service provider.

Canyon Hydro Pressure Reduction Turbines

The pressure reduction turbines, a type of “in-conduit hydropower,” generate power from the high water pressure within the pipes that feed raw water into the treatment plant. The water is directed through valves that press against the blades of a turbine, which powers an electric generator and converts mechanical energy into electrical energy, providing half of the plant’s needs.

Did you know?

U.S. energy costs for water treatment facilities amount to $4 billion annually and often account for one-third of a municipality’s total energy bill.