Lake Hodges Pumped Storage Project

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Lake Hodges
Pumped Storage Project

The Lake Hodges Pumped Storage Project is a major element of the Water Authority’s Emergency Storage Project.  The Lake Hodges project enables water to be pumped between the city of San Diego’s Lake Hodges and the Water Authority’s Olivenhain Reservoir, making up to 20,000 acre-feet of capacity in Lake Hodges available to store emergency water supplies for the region. It also generates up to 40 megawatts of hydroelectric power, with revenues from power sales used to help offset part of the Water Authority’s operating costs.

In September, the first of the project’s two 28,000-horsepower pump turbines began operations, making the project’s pumped storage capability available for the first time. In addition, it made up to 20 MW of hydroelectric power – enough for 13,000 homes – available to supplement the region’s power supplies. The Water Authority also prepared the second turbine to come online early in the next fiscal year. 

The Water Authority has a long-term power purchase agreement with SDG&E that includes terms for buying power produced by the project and a reduced rate on energy required to operate the project.

The Water Authority also took action to make sure the facility will be operated and maintained in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible for ratepayers. In March, the Board approved contracting the operations and maintenance of the project to ProTrans USA, LLC.  ProTrans is a wholly owned subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin, one of the leading engineering and construction groups in the world and a leader in the provision of major infrastructure operations and maintenance services.

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Green Power:
Rancho Peñasquitos Revenue Generation

The Water Authority has generated electricity at its Rancho Peñasquitos Hydroelectric Facility near Interstate 15 and Mercy Road since December 2006. The facility, which can generate up to 4.5 MW of power as water flows through the Water Authority’s Second Aqueduct, produces approximately $1 million in revenue each year.