Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) Case Study
Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) serves approximately 850,000 residents in a 242 square-mile service area in San Bernardino County, California. IEUA’s energy management plan is focused on maximizing renewable energy, optimizing energy usage, and becoming grid-independent by 2020. Eliminating clean air compliance uncertainty was also a goal, as was avoiding an up-front capital investment in power generation technology.
“Installation of this fuel cell power plant operating on renewable biogas is an important component of our renewable energy generation strategy… The clean electrical generation process and the reliable 24/7 operating nature of the fuel cell will help us attain the objectives of our strategic energy plan and position us to meet ever more stringent clean air emission requirements.”
– Terry Catlin, Board President, Inland Empire Utilities Agency
- A 2.8 megawatt DFC3000 power plant was installed, providing electricity that meets almost all of IEUA’s baseload power needs at one of five IEUA-operated wastewater treatment facilities.
- A private investor owns the plant, selling electricity and heat to IEUA under a long term power purchase agreement (PPA).
- The heat generated by the power plant supports the anaerobic digestion process.
- The virtual absence of pollutants from the ultra-clean fuel cell power generation process eliminates the risk of failing to comply with any future changes to clean air regulations.
- On-site baseload power generation supports energy reliability and complements intermittent wind and solar arrays installed by IEUA.
- Renewable and ultra-clean on-site power generation supports the IEUA energy management plan.
- Private capital for this investor-owned power plant is being used to provide public benefits including health benefits resulting from the virtual lack of pollutants that cause smog, and the financial benefits of fixed power costs over the 20-year term of the (PPA).