IID News

Utilities to collaborate on transmission planning project for renewable energy

The Imperial Irrigation District and Southern California Edison have agreed to initiate joint planning studies of an existing transmission corridor in Southeastern California that could significantly boost the transfer capability of renewable energy under development in the resource-rich Imperial Valley.

The joint planning project, which is contingent on further study by both utilities and the approval of the California Independent System Operator, centers on Path 42, a 35-mile-long 230-kV transmission line that interconnects the IID and SCE systems. The ultimate goal of the joint planning project would be to deliver new renewable resources in the IID service area to CAISO via the Devers substation owned by SCE.

The current Path 42 configuration can deliver up to 700 megawatts, but IID recently declared an “open season” for renewable generators interested in accessing new capacity on the line if upgrades are performed that would expand its transfer capability to 1,700 megawatts. IID owns approximately 20 miles of the existing transmission line, while SCE owns roughly 15 miles.

Brian Brady, IID general manager, said the utilities are in the process of establishing the feasibility of a prospective joint project, but that there are clear benefits to be derived by the ratepayers of both agencies.   “The next step,” Brady said, “will be for both agencies to do the requisite due diligence, compare notes and decide whether it makes sense to proceed. For now, we are pleased to be working with Southern California Edison in exploring the long-term viability of such a project.”

Landscaping to Minimize Risk
IID Conveys Important Message about Safety and Reliability

Imperial Irrigation District (IID) is encouraging customers to consider safety and reliability when landscaping around electrical boxes, also known as padmount transformers and switchgear.  Quietly operating 24 hours a day, these electrical boxes house high-voltage electrical equipment that could pose a safety risk if treated or handled inappropriately.  Blocking access to or disguising these facilities can cause neighborhood outages or delay the outage restoration process.

“IID crews have encountered an increasing number of challenges when locating and accessing equipment in several gated communities due to landscaping vegetation and materials placed on or around these facilities,” stated Carlton King, Assistant Manager of the IID Energy Department.

“When we encounter clearance issues, we must immediately clear the area to gain access to equipment and adhere to state regulations,” continued King.  “To prevent this, we recommend that shrubbery be planted no closer than three feet from the sides and rear of the box and no closer than 10 feet in front to allow access to the equipment inside.” To advise customers about appropriate landscaping options and clearance directives, IID has stepped up efforts to inform property owners, homeowner associations and city officials in the Coachella and Imperial valleys.

“We understand the importance of aesthetics to property owners, particularly in this area, and we are exploring alternatives to help balance the needs of the utility and the homeowner alike,” stated King.  “By following these simple guidelines, IID can restore power as quickly as possible to you and your neighbors.”

Before starting any landscaping project, it is important to identify underground hazards that may exist on the property. To do so, customers are encouraged to call the Underground Service Alert, toll free, at 8-1-1 two working days before beginning a project. As a free service to customers, experts will locate electric, gas, telephone, water and sewer lines on the property.

Customers interested in more information about landscaping around electrical facilities are encouraged to visit www.iid.com.

Directors rescind 2009 supply/demand imbalance
(From Ditchbank Oct 2009)

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors unanimously voted to cancel the 2009 supply/demand imbalance during its Sept. 22 regular meeting.By terminating the SDI declaration, the associated 2009 apportionments (including the 5.25 acre-feet-per-acre apportionment for agricultural lands) are no longer in effect for the 2009 water year.Under equitable distribution, the district tracks actual supply and demand during the SDI water year.

As per regulations, if the IID’s cumulative consumptive use through June is less than 1,575,000 acre-feet, the district may terminate the SDI declaration for that year. As of June 30, IID’s water use was 1,390,127 acre-feet.

Projected underuse
The reasoning behind the decision to rescind the 2009 SDI included the Bureau of Reclamation’s projection of IID’s underuse of Colorado River water to be over 195,000 acre-feet at the time.Termination of the 2009 SDI declaration is not anticipated to impact water sales because of the underuse projection, and, there would have been water available in the district water exchange.

No SDI for water year 2010
Directors were also told that the probability of a supply/demand imbalance in year 2010 is less than 50 percent and, therefore, consideration of an SDI declaration for 2010 is not necessary.

Under the regulations for equitable distribution, an SDI declaration “must be made on or before Oct. 1 and can be withdrawn on or before Dec. 31.”Regulations call for the IID to track actual supply and demand during each water year and, based on staff estimates, determine whether the probability of total demand exceeding its Colorado water supply is greater than 50 percent.

Water cards
Directors also approved implementation of a Nov. 15, 2009, deadline for the completion and submittal of each field’s new water card. After this date, fields without the requisite water card will be limited to a single irrigation event until an acceptable new water card has been submitted.

Any extenuating circumstances should be brought to the attention of the water manager in a timely manner for prompt consideration.