Mojave Water Agency, a State Water Contractor for the State Water Project, delivers imported water from the California Aqueduct into groundwater recharge basins throughout the high desert. One of the principal areas of imported water recharge within Mojave Basin occurs near Deep Creek Road in Apple Valley at the Mojave Water Agency Operations Center. Due to the high pressure of the water traveling through the pipeline leading to the groundwater basin, excess pressure is removed from the pipeline before it is released for recharge. This pressure presents an opportunity for the Agency to capture the potential energy source with a hydroelectric turbine generator system, which converts pressure to useful renewable electricity.
In mid-2019, the Agency completed construction of the hydroelectric facility at Deep Creek. The Pelton-style hydroelectric turbine can process up to 12,000 acre-feet per year at a maximum flow rate of 20 cubic feet per second and is capable of producing 820 kilowatts of power.
The total cost for the hydroelectric project was $4.3M. The hydroelectric station is expected to produce over $8M net savings over a 30-year period, providing significant energy savings for the Agency and its customers. These savings will provide additional revenue to the Agency that can be used for other capital projects as well as the potential to offset any future water rate increases.