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    City of Santa Barbara to Host Ribbon-Cutting Celebrating Battery Energy Storage Project at Cater Water Treatment Plant

    The City of Santa Barbara invites the community to join Mayor Randy Rowse and the City Council for a ribbon-cutting celebrating the new battery energy storage system at the Cater Water Treatment Plant (Cater). The battery energy storage system improves the resilience of the City’s water system and will provide substantial savings on energy bills over the lifetime of the system. 

    The City’s Energy and Climate Division (Sustainability & Resilience Department) and Water Resources Division (Public Works Department) will host the event on Thursday, December 7 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cater Water Treatment Plant, located at 1150 San Roque Road. 

    Project Highlights:

    • The Tesla battery array has the capacity to hold 3,727 kilowatt-hours of electricity (enough energy to power 300 Santa Barbara homes for a day).
    • The batteries provide resilience and additional energy assurance at Cater, which serves a critical role in treating surface water (from Lake Cachuma, the State Water Project, and Gibraltar Reservoir) for residents of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Montecito, and Hope Ranch.
    • In addition to providing a backup power benefit, this system will also allow the facility to load shift, charging the battery with grid power when electricity is abundant and cheapest in the middle of the day, and discharging the battery during peak evening times when electricity is in short demand and most expensive. The ability to load shift will provide an estimated $790,000 in energy savings to the City over the projected 20-year life of the batteries. 
    • A future project will include the installation of solar panels to charge the batteries, further reducing the impacts to the local electrical grid and leading to more savings. 

    The City worked with Tesla to secure a Self-Generation Incentive Program grant from the State which covered the entire cost of the batteries and was able to install the system and maintain it over a 10-year term, at no cost to the City or water ratepayers. 

    “These batteries help ensure that we can operate our critical facilities during disasters or power outages,” said Joshua Haggmark, Water Resources Manager at the City of Santa Barbara. “The project will also save the City hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next 20 years. These batteries are a win-win and align with the City’s goals of increased resilience, bolstering our local grid reliability, helping control the costs of providing water service, and align with the City’s goal for carbon neutrality.”  

    The project is part of the City’s ongoing effort to increase community resilience and leverage the carbon-free electricity provided by Santa Barbara Clean Energy, the City’s community choice aggregation program. Other resilience projects are currently in process at Fire Station 1, the Eastside Library, Santa Barbara Harbor, and the Granada Garage, with many more on the horizon. 

    For more information on the City’s resilience efforts, visit SantaBarbaraCA.gov/Sustainability. For more information on the City’s water system, visit SantaBarbaraCA.gov/Water.



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