June 19, 2020
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District is currently expanding the capacity of its existing solar generation facility off Las Virgenes Road, south of the Calabasas Bark Park, from 1.0 to 5.0 megawatts. The project is being constructed through a public-private partnership and will save the District’s ratepayers over $10 million in energy costs over the project’s lifespan. Upon completion, the project will contribute to the District’s existing renewable energy portfolio, which includes a digester gas to energy facility, to entirely offset the energy demands of treating the region’s wastewater at the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility.
Another benefit this brings our area is more resilience during power shut offs, wildfires and high winds, especially when storage is added to keep the solar energy operating 24-7. Having access to water supply and treatment even when we don’t have power is a smart investment. The City of Thousand Oaks has had their wastewater plant operating on solar energy for several years. They are off the grid. Ideally, our schools and public buildings would be able to do the same. Keeping the lights on, air conditioning during heat waves or smoke filled skies, access to communication, places for people to recharge their cars and their iPhones, etc would bring resilience and support for all ages when the power goes off.