Lake Hodges Pumped Storage Project

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Lake Hodges
Pumped Storage Project

The Water Authority’s ability to help San Diego County meet its peak power needs took a 28,000-horsepower leap forward in August when the second pump turbine at the Lake Hodges Pumped Storage Project was placed into commercial operation. With that power supply online, the Water Authority can generate up to 40 megawatts of electricity, complementing the project’s primary purpose of pumping water as part of the Emergency Storage Project by saving water ratepayers money.

Twin 28,000-horsepower pump turbines at the site can turn out enough power for 26,000 homes as water flows downhill from Olivenhain Reservoir to Hodges Reservoir – a 770-foot drop in elevation. Power is generated during daylight hours when electricity demand is highest, and water is pumped back into Olivenhain Reservoir late at night when energy costs less. For the year, the project produced nearly 32,000 megawatt hours of electricity during high-demand periods.

The turbines can reach full-scale power production within minutes, making them valuable pieces of the region’s “on-demand” energy infrastructure. The project is also important in other ways: It generated revenues of more than $1.5 million to help offset operating costs, and it facilitates the movement of water between reservoirs for emergency use.

Each turbine can generate 20 megawatts of electricity, which is transmitted to a nearby switchyard and then to a 69-kilovolt power line that connects to the local transmission system.







The Rancho Peñasquitos Pressure Control Hydroelectric Facility regulates flow along the Second Aqueduct and to and from the San Vicente Reservoir.

Rancho Peñasquitos project produces electricity, revenue

In addition to the Lake Hodges Project, the Water Authority operates a 4.5-megawatt turbine generator at its Rancho Peñasquitos Pressure Control/Hydroelectric Facility in the Mira Mesa area.

At that point in the water distribution system, water flowing downhill through the Water Authority’s pipelines produces enough clean energy each year to supply roughly 5,000 homes. In turn, that power generates approximately $900,000 annually in revenues to help reduce the Water Authority’s overall operating costs.