Texas water utility selects Enchanted Rock to provide microgrid

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The West Harris County Regional Water Authority (WHCRWA) in Texas has selected Texas-based Enchanted Rock to provide a 20 MW microgrid to support two critical water pump stations.

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A Texas water authority selects Enchanted Rock to provide a microgrid. Credit: only background/Shutterstock.com

The microgrid will be installed under Enchanted Rock’s integrated Resiliency on Call (iROC) service. With this business model, Enchanted Rock operates and maintains the natural gas powered microgrid, while providing resiliency to the water authority at what it describes as a fraction of the cost of standard reliability systems.

The iROC service will ensure the water authority is supplying water to the 127 water districts under the authority’s management, as well as the North Fort Bend Water Authority. The microgrid will also support the authority’s goal to promote water conservation and facilitate compliance with groundwater reduction strategies and mandates.

“This partnership will help ensure safe drinking water for residents and businesses across Harris County during outages, which occur frequently in this storm-prone region,” said Allan Schurr, chief commercial officer of Enchanted Rock. Harris County encompasses the city of Houston, which suffered significant power outages in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The water authority said it chose Enchanted Rock because of its experience providing electrical resilience-as-a-service solutions to other water utilities during extreme weather.

“Enchanted Rock will provide WHCRWA with the most affordable solution that meets our sustainability goals without sacrificing reliability and continuity of water services for our residents and area businesses in the event of an outage,” said Eric Hansen, the authority’s board president.

Enchanted Rock has over 135 MW of capacity either commissioned or under construction at water facilities. This includes a 2.4 MW microgrid for the North Fort Bend Water Authority, which the company announced in 2020. The company is also partnering with the city of Houston to provide electrical backup for the Northeast Water Purification Expansion facility, which is expected to be commissioned in 2024.

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