Central Texas County Water Authority to Develop a Microgrid

Jan. 13, 2023
Texas-based RPower will develop a 10 MW microgrid for Bell County Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) #1.

RPower has been awarded the contract to develop a 10-MW microgrid for the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) #1 in Texas.

The project “ensures our compliance with Texas Water Code and provides a benefit to our community,” according to Ricky Garrett, general manager for Bell County WCID #1. 

Newly revised in 2021 in the wake of Winter Storm Uri, Texas Water Code states that water utilities must develop an emergency preparedness plan that includes the ability to operate during an extended power outage.

Located in central Texas, Bell County WCID #1 serves the cities of Belton, Killeen and Harker Heights.

Texas water utilities are turning to microgrids

A growing number of water utilities in Texas and other states are investing in microgrids to ensure public safety and access to clean water.

In addition to Bell County, water authorities in West Harris County, Texas, announced they would be building a 20-MW microgrid to support two critical water pump stations. At 30 MW, the city of Houston has invested in an even larger microgrid for a water pumping plant.

Bell County selects new microgrid player

Bell County Water Control and Improvement District officials worked with energy advisory firm 5 to manage the request for proposal process and to develop the microgrid project requirements.

Ultimately, Texas-based RPower, a new player in the Texas microgrid scene, was selected to provide a turnkey microgrid solution. Founded in 2021 and headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, RPower designs, installs, maintains and optimizes microgrids.

The primary power source for the Bell County microgrid will be natural gas generators.

In addition to compliance with state water codes, the system will help the facility manage its energy costs and take advantage of other cost savings opportunities such as grid reliability programs.

“Resilience solutions are critical for utilities and the communities they serve, and our business is to deliver the best resilience solution available to meet these needs,” said RPower’s CEO Jeff Starcher.

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About the Author

Kathy Hitchens | Special Projects Editor

I work as a writer and special projects editor for Microgrid Knowledge. I have over 30 years of writing experience, working with a variety of companies in the renewable energy, electric vehicle and utility sector, as well as those in the entertainment, education, and financial industries. I have a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona and a MBA from the University of Denver.

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