BPA Targets Irrigation
BPA is ramping up agricultural energy efficiency through an irrigation pump testing pilot program with the hope that about 400 irrigation pumps or systems will be tested in the next two years. The $200,000 program started this summer primarily with utilities that serve significant irrigation loads and that have conservation augmentation agreements with BPA.
BPA is also offering a simplified rebate program for new low-pressure and flow-controlling sprinkler equipment. The program has a number of goals.
"First is to get the energy and water efficiencies the Northwest Power and Conservation Council thinks are available," said BPA coordinator Steve Fucile. "Second, we're encouraging local utilities to work with their growers to get their irrigation systems tested and switched to updated low-pressure sprinkler packages."
The latter will increase application efficiency and cut energy costs for pumping. BPA will evaluate the program in 2006 to determine the savings gained. It hopes the effort will save 20 average megawatts.
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