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Black & Veatch has announced that the Rancho Penasquitos Pressure Control and Hydroelectric Facility (RPPCHF) received the Outstanding Project Award for 2006 from the San Diego Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
The award was presented to the San Diego County Water Authority, which owns the facility, and Black & Veatch, which has engineered the project since its inception six years ago, at the organization’s annual awards banquet on May 12.
“This project is very exciting, as it not only provides flexibility of water deliveries to our member agencies, but also provides enough power for approximately 5,000 homes each year, reducing emissions by use of ‘clean energy’,” said Mike Wallace, San Diego County Water Authority construction administrator. “Each and every one of the project team members played an important role in completing this project and in meeting the needs of the community.”
Planning, designing and constructing a single facility that would serve two purposes was challenging because different processes, equipment, and engineering skills were needed to create a facility that would effectively control water pressure and flow and simultaneously generate electricity in an environmentally responsible manner.
The RPPCHF is part of the extensive water distribution system that the Water Authority owns and operates in San Diego County. Located along a major aqueduct and connected to a 108-inch-diameter untreated-water pipeline, the facility was designed not only to control water pressure and flow but also to generate renewable energy through a turbine-generator set sized at 4.5 megawatts. The San Diego community will benefit from this green renewable energy, which takes full advantage of the excess pressure at the project site that otherwise would have been wasted.
“Successful completion of this multi-faceted facility also required a combination of water and energy expertise found in very few companies,” said Dan McCarthy, president and CEO of Black & Veatch’s global water business. “By making use of available hydraulic pressure, this water facility is able to generate substantial electricity without harmful emissions.”
The project was one of seven Outstanding Projects selected by the San Diego Section of ASCE.