EBMUD is more than a water agency. As stewards of our environment, EBMUD also produces renewable energy. We do it at both ends of the water cycle, from snowflake to bay. In the Sierra Nevada foothills, EBMUD’s Pardee Dam Power House churns millions of gallons of water through turbines daily as we release it from Pardee Reservoir to Camanche Reservoir. Camanche Power House also generates renewable energy as we release water into the Mokelumne River. The turbines are connected to generators, which create hundreds of thousands of megawatt hours of emission-free hydropower each year.
EBMUD also generates power from the sun. Our solar program stretches west from Camanche Reservoir to Oakland, El Sobrante, Richmond, Walnut Creek, and San Lorenzo. Each year, solar panels on our buildings, reservoirs, and watershed lands convert the sun’s energy into about 2,600 megawatt hours of photovoltaic power. And we’re currently working to bring another large 5-megawatt solar project in Orinda. Along the East Bay shoreline of San Francisco Bay, sewage from El Cerrito down to Oakland and Alameda arrives at EBMUD’s Main Wastewater Treatment Plant where we collect and treat it. One beneficial byproduct of the biological treatment process is biogas, which we combust to generate electricity. EBMUD was the first wastewater facility in the nation to generate more electricity than the plant needs to operate in a year. Today, our wastewater plant continues to produce more energy than the plant needs to operate. For all our power generating facilities, EBMUD uses the power right where it’s made, and sells the excess renewable energy to our partners, benefitting the environment and our ratepayers.