HOOD RIVER, Ore. — May 19, 2016 — As climate change and growth put pressure on Oregon’s water supplies, a collaborative, public-private effort to upgrade aging infrastructure at a dozen Oregon irrigation districts is poised to save billions of gallons of water annually, generate clean energy, return water to streams and improve habitat for fish.

Today, Farmers Conservation Alliance, FCA, announced its statewide partnership, a program that joins 12 rural irrigation districts, local farmers, state and federal agencies, Energy Trust of Oregon and conservation groups in a common purpose: to create state-of-the art irrigation districts that will produce significant energy and water conservation benefits, sustain family farms, bolster rural prosperity, improve drought resiliency and enhance environmental quality.

Most agricultural water is delivered by irrigation districts to farms through 100-year-old, open canal systems that can lose significant amounts of water through seepage and evaporation. A modern irrigation district replaces open canals with pipes, saving water and leaving more water in-stream for fish and wildlife. Pressurized pipes allow irrigators to remove pumps, which saves electricity, maintenance and replacement costs and enables upgrades to more water-efficient irrigation systems on-farm. Excess water pressure can also be used to generate hydropower.

“By updating this aging infrastructure, our state, and the entire western U.S., has an extraordinary opportunity to meet the challenges caused by long-term droughts while supporting agricultural resiliency, irrigation efficiency and environmental goals,” said Julie Davies O’Shea, executive director, FCA.

Due to cost and complexity, only three of Oregon’s approximately 200 irrigation districts have conducted successful modernization planning and implementation efforts. Over a 10-year period, Three Sisters Irrigation District near Sisters, Oregon piped 50 of its 63 miles of canals, pressurizing water delivery and eliminating irrigation pumps. “Piping our canals saves more than

two billion gallons of water annually,” said Mark Thalacker, district manager, Three Sisters Irrigation District. “Our long-term modernization effort helped re-introduce steelhead, took advantage of excess water pressure by installing a hydropower turbine, and delivered water to farmers and kept water in-stream for fish even during the historic 2015 drought.”

FCA’s Irrigation Modernization program, with initial funding provided by Energy Trust, is designed to help irrigation districts modernize their systems more quickly than if they go it alone. “This is about giving more districts the tools and financing they need to modernize so farmers and fish can weather drought and water scarcity into the future,” said O’Shea.

Small-scale hydropower projects are a practical extension of modern irrigation districts that use pipes to deliver water.

“Energy Trust is working with FCA to accelerate renewable energy development in Oregon through small-scale hydropower. By piping open canals and pressurizing the water within, irrigation districts have the ability to add clean energy to their modernization check list. Energy Trust helps them check the box with cash incentives that lower the cost to install a hydropower turbine,” said Jed Jorgensen, program manager, Energy Trust. “We see a huge collaborative opportunity here.”

The 12 districts already working with FCA are: Arnold Irrigation District in Bend, Central Oregon Irrigation District in Redmond, East Fork Irrigation District in Hood River, Hudson Bay District Improvement Company in Milton-Freewater, Lone Pine Irrigation District in Terrebonne, North Prairie Creek Ditch in Enterprise, North Unit Irrigation District in Madras, Ochoco Irrigation District in Prineville, Swalley Irrigation District in Bend, Three Sisters Irrigation District in Sisters, Tumalo Irrigation District in Tumalo and the Westside Ditch in Lostine. All are expected to complete assessments by early 2017. The assessments will identify the renewable energy, energy efficiency, agricultural, water, environmental and economic benefits associated with modernization and recommend various potential implementation approaches.

For more information or to contact the Irrigation Modernization program, go to http://irrigationmodernization.fcasolutions.org, or call Julie Davies O’Shea at 541-716-6085.

MEDIA NOTE: Video and irrigation district case studies available on website

FARMERS CONSERVATION ALLIANCE: Formed in 2005, Farmers Conservation Alliance is a nonprofit organization initially created to market the Farmers Screen™, an innovative fish technology developed and licensed by the Farmers Irrigation District of Hood River, Oregon. While marketing and exploring other solutions to benefit the environment and agriculture, Farmers Conservation Alliance has spent the last decade forming collaborative relationships that accelerate the great work of irrigation districts, agencies and organizations. Farmers Conservation Alliance developed and administers the Irrigation Modernization program, building teams and alliances to help modernize irrigation districts and realize the agricultural, environmental and economic benefits for all.

ENERGY TRUST: Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save more than $2.3 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at www.energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.

PORTLAND, Ore. — October 28, 2014 — Energy Trust of Oregon has launched a set of new videos to inspire Oregon manufacturers to save energy by participating in its Strategic Energy Management, SEM, initiative.

SEM helps industrial facilities gain significant energy savings through a focus on modifying business practices and creating culture change around how the facilities view, save or waste energy. They can be viewed at www.energytrust.org/industrialSEM.

Energy Trust provides support and technical resources to help industrial companies take a holistic approach to managing energy use to improve energy performance and sustain energy and cost savings over time.

The pair of videos feature case studies from two Oregon companies that have implemented SEM successfully within their own facilities. Managers and employees from Purdy Professional Painting Tools, located in Portland, Ore., and Kettle Foods in Salem, Ore., share their own stories of how they worked with Energy Trust to improve their energy management plans and learn to save energy and money by focusing on operations and behavior change.

Through its participation in SEM, Purdy Professional Painting Tools, a division of Sherwin-Williams and a manufacturer of paintbrushes and other tools, was able to reduce its energy use intensity by 10 percent. Through operational efficiencies and changes in behavior, Purdy saved more than 240,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, or $16,000 in energy cost savings. Energy Trust provided nearly $11,000 in cash incentives toward the cost of the energy-saving improvements.

Kettle Foods, a division of Diamond Foods and a manufacturer of natural potato chips, has reduced its energy use intensity by 13 percent. It earned an incentive of more than $23,000 toward energy-saving improvements, and has been able to save more than 1.1 million kWh of electricity — approximately $70,000 in energy cost savings.

Participation in SEM requires a one-year commitment for the first year of work with Energy Trust. More than 100 industrial companies have become involved in various phases of Energy Trust’s SEM initiative and are generating energy savings of 2 to 20 percent each year.

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save $1.7 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at www.energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — August 25, 2014 — An ongoing initiative to save energy and cut electricity use and operating costs at the South Suburban Sanitary District, SSSD, in Klamath Falls, Ore., is adding value to the community and to its ratepayers. Thanks to a recent investment in new, energy-efficient technology at the district’s wastewater treatment plant, SSSD earned $77,125 in cash incentives from Energy Trust of Oregon and expects to save 40 percent on its annual electricity bill.

Serving commercial businesses and residences in Klamath County and parts of Klamath Falls, SSSD, which is served by Pacific Power, processes an average of 2.7 million gallons per day of wastewater. Treating all that wastewater is an energy-intensive process, which means District Manager Michael Fritschi pays close attention to advancements in technology and equipment that will improve treatment, lower energy consumption and reduce the district’s overall carbon footprint.

SSSD’s plant uses four lagoons as part of its process, including one aerated treatment lagoon. Prior to the equipment upgrade, air was introduced to the wastewater through an older system of coarse bubble diffusers spaced throughout the lagoon. The coarse bubbles provide aeration and keep the sediment in the aerated lagoon mixed, but the oxygen transfer efficiency tends to be fairly low.

The outdated system was also becoming repair intensive, so Fritschi turned to Energy Trust for consultation help and an energy audit. The district’s goal was to find a way to reduce the amount of energy needed to provide oxygen and mix sediment for biological treatment of the lagoons.

“This project is part of an overall energy reduction strategy,” continued Fritschi. “This fiscal year we’ve budgeted 33 percent less for all utility costs than in the last nine fiscal years on average. With utility costs going up, we rely on investments like this one to help us meet our goal. Our community and ratepayers count on us to control costs to keep future rates stable and maintain our long-term financial health.”

The solution to the aeration diffuser problem was a hybrid system that would keep sediment mixed, provide sufficient air and use less energy. One of the first installations of this technology on the West Coast, the project entailed replacing 328 coarse bubble aeration diffusers with 63

efficient diffusers capable of providing a combination of coarse bubbles for mixing as well as fine bubbles for improved aeration efficiency. The fine bubble diffusers increased the oxygen transfer efficiency, which reduces the system’s overall energy load.

“Our board supported the investment because we’re providing the same level of treatment with less energy,” said Fritschi. “And by saving energy, we control our operating costs, which helps free up future capital for key infrastructure projects that will add value to the district.”

In addition to saving energy, the new diffusers will reduce the cost of maintaining the coarse bubble diffusers. The new diffusers will also minimize cleaning efforts by featuring self-cleaning membranes.

The district estimates the project will save 334,850 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, which is equal to the amount of energy needed to power 30 average homes for one year.

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save $1.7 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at www.energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.

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