Turlock Irrigation District’s Don Pedro Power Plant’s Role in Supporting the Grid During the 2020 August Heatwave Wins 2021 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Award
Don Pedro Power Plant Played Vital Role in Offering Relief to State’s Grid
Atlanta, GA (October 21, 2022) – The National Hydropower Association (NHA) today announced Turlock Irrigation District (TID)’s Don Pedro Power Plant’s Role in Supporting the Grid During the 2020 August Heatwave received the 2021 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters (OSAW) Award in the category of Operational Excellence.
The category of Operational Excellence recognizes waterpower projects that add value to the industry through technical contributions, innovation, engineering, upgrades and improvements, or technology breakthroughs for new hydropower or marine hydrokinetic technologies.
During the Summer of 2020, California experienced a period of excessively hot temperatures that created a strain on generation resources. While wildfires traumatized communities throughout the state, TID prepared to adjust its operations and took steps to minimize the impact to the local grid and its customers.
TID made operational adjustments at both Don Pedro and Turlock Lake Regulating Reservoir, allowing favorable power generation to meet demand without sacrificing irrigation water availability for growers, resulting in an increase of 2,000 MWh of clean, carbon-free energy over the course of the heatwave.
Through private, state, and federal partnerships, TID has been able to pioneer the use of innovative technologies through its Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) program and Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) program, both of which support the enhancement of TID’s water management operations and has put TID on the path as a leader in climate resilience and adaptation practices.
“NHA is thrilled to present TID with the OSAW Award for Operational Excellence,” said LeRoy Coleman, Director of Communications, NHA. “TID’s use of innovative technology to inform water management decisions and provide reliable, affordable, clean energy during a heat wave proves hydropower’s vital role to the grid. Natural events such as a heat wave pose many challenges to energy providers, and TID has proven to be an outstanding steward of the environment and watershed while continuing to provide reliable power to the grid during a time that would usually be met with grid uncertainty.”
“TID is honored to be recognized for our water and power operations, specifically for optimizing the use of our Don Pedro Power Plant in providing for our customers, and the State as a whole, during the August 2020 heat wave. Being awarded the Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters in the category of Operational Excellence is a tribute to the innovative and collaborative efforts of our water and power teams, and the District as a whole,” said Brad Koehn, Chief Operating Officer, TID.
The Don Pedro power plant is equipped with generators providing a total of 203 MW of hydropower for customers in the Central Valley of California.
About the Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Awards
In 1994, the National Hydropower Association (NHA) created the Hydro Achievement Awards to recognize organizations and projects committed to excellence in the development and operation of hydropower. In 1999, NHA added the Outstanding Stewardship of America’s Rivers (OSAR) Report to profile the best examples of hydropower’s ability to generate clean, renewable, reliable and affordable electricity while protecting the riverine ecosystem. Beginning in 2007, these two recognition programs were merged to more effectively provide recognition to deserving organizations and to reflect the changing nature of the hydropower industry, particularly the fact that hydropower can be used in various waterways. The new award program is called the Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters (OSAW).
OSAW Awards are given out in three distinct categories:
- Operational Excellence: projects that add value to the hydropower industry through technical contributions, innovation, engineering, upgrades and improvements or technology breakthroughs for new hydropower technologies
- Recreational, Environmental & Historical Enhancement: projects that provide enhanced recreational opportunities for the general public, offer measurable benefits that mitigate, conserve, preserve, or enhance the natural resources, or conserve historical aspects of hydropower facilities and their integration with the surrounding community.
- Public Education: programs that effectively communicate and promote the benefits of hydropower through mediums such as curriculum, learning centers, videos or outreach programs.
NHA invites you to learn more about these outstanding endeavors, both past and present, at www.hydro.org/osaw.