Solar and Hydroelectric

solarDesert Water Agency installed a solar field at our Operations Center in the spring of 2005.

The field is made up of a 355 kilowatt ground-mounted fixed tilt system about the size of a football field. It includes 2,028 Shell PowerMax™ Ultra modules for greater efficiency and enhanced performance.

There are 338 Shell Solar factory assembled panels for lower installation costs and greater reliability.

We produce 662,000 kilowatt hours annually, or enough energy to power about 100 homes for a year or pump 3,800 acre feet of water annually.

We project the solar field will save the agency and its ratepayers $2.4 million in energy during its lifetime and save the planet up to 639,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.

The agency spent $2.5 million on the field but costs were significantly reduced because Southern California Edison awarded the agency a $1.2 million contribution from their Self Generation Incentive Program.

To see the current energy generation of our solar field click here.


White_Water__HydroelectricThe agency also produces power through two hydroelectric generating plants—we’ve been doing so since 1987. One is in Whitewater Canyon and the other at Snow Creek.  Our Snow Creek facility generates power from water flow from the creek and  our Whitewater Facility generates power from water flow from the Colorado River Aqueduct.

In 2009 DWA generated over one million kilowatt hours of electricity with the two plants. However, because they are dependent on stream flow and Colorado River deliveries, energy generation can vary greatly month to month.