Farmers Irrigation District, Hood River
Estimated annual generation: 1,950 megawatt hours
Farmers Irrigation District is no stranger to small-scale hydroelectric power. Since 1986, two hydropower systems have generated revenue and defrayed the cost of delivering water to approximately 5,800 acres and about 1,900 residential and agricultural users in Hood River.
In 2005, Farmers Irrigation District began working with Energy Trust on projects that save energy and water, and that have allowed the district to steadily increase hydropower generation. The district worked with Energy Trust to construct an energy-efficient pumping station to replace individual user pumps, convert miles of open ditches into piped canals, and pressurize and filter the delivery of irrigation water. Pressurized pipes eliminate canal seepage and evaporation, resulting in more water that can be delivered to crops as well as left in streams for fish and other aquatic species.
In 2015, Energy Trust provided a $900,000 cash incentive for the district to replace the two older turbines with a single, higher-efficiency 3-megawatt turbine and generator. By repowering the hydropower plant, Farmers Irrigation District expects to increase generation by 12 percent and revenue by an estimated $130,000, and save up to $150,000 on annual operations and maintenance costs.
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