PORTLAND, Ore.—Since 2007, John and Marlene Bles have run 400 cattle on their 850 acres near Klamath Falls, which they irrigate to raise hay for their stock.
In 2016, they joined a pilot program offered by Pacific Power to see if turning off power to their four pumps during certain hours of peak energy usage was feasible for their operation. The pilot project’s goal was to determine if the electricity conservation measure could fit into ranch operations—and what kind of incentive would help irrigators choose the program.
“We thought we’d try out the program and see how it went,” Marlene said. “We’ve been very happy with it – the $2,000 - $3,000 annual savings have really added up over seven years.”
After the successful pilot program helped refine the details, Pacific Power is rolling the incentive program out to qualifying irrigators in Oregon and Washington.
The Bles family has a main well with a 100 HP pump and three booster pumps - one 60 HP and two 40 HP, totaling 240 HP. They recently added their second well to the system.
The Irrigation Load Control (ILC) is a peak energy reduction program offered by Pacific Power, in partnership with Connected Energy®, to help customers save energy and money. Irrigators who choose to enroll in this program earn bill credits for temporarily reducing electricity use by shutting off irrigation pumps during peak demand periods. Irrigators also gain access to a secure Farmer Portal from any modern web browser. The Farmer Portal offers an intuitive interface showing the active status of each participating pump and remote start/stop control, saving participants hours of drive time. The program is available to qualified Pacific Power customers in Oregon and Washington.
“It’s a simple and well-run program,” Marlene said. “It’s almost a no-brainer. It’s easy to sign up, participate and be hands-off. And if we have an issue, they’re quick to send a technician.”
Find out more at these links:
Washington Agriculture Incentives (pacificpower.net)