TID to Talk Renewable Power

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A busy agenda awaits the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors on Tuesday, including several items addressing five proposed renewable energy projects in west Stanislaus and Merced Counties.

The privately-funded projects, combined, would generate about 420 megawatts of solar energy, which would be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric. Before reaching PG&E, the electricity must be transmitted through the district's Los Banos – Westley line, putting the line 244 megawatts above maximum capacity.

The resolutions under consideration Tuesday would authorize the projects to proceed, but would require the generators to pay for all costs associated with upgrading the Los Banos-Westley line. That upgrade work would likely tally as much as $5 million, including a cash payment to offset district losses from temporarily taking the line out of service.

On Tuesday, the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors is also scheduled to:
• Apply for a $2.56 million state grant to improve the boat launch ramp at Don Pedro Reservoir's Blue Oaks Recreation Area.
• Approve a resolution reaffirming TID's commitment to dam safety.
• Hold public hearings to finalize the inclusion of land into three different improvement districts.
Michael and Ida Dunn are applying to add 4.72-acres to the Bourdil Ditch. The Souza family is applying to add 101.54 acres into the Souza-Rocha Pump. JKL Orchards, Phillip M. Yori, the Westleyn family, and Edward and Carlene Amador are applying to add 89.89 acres to the Kollmeyer Ditch.
• Hear weekly updates on electrical service, power generation, irrigation water availability, and the status of irrigation season.
• Hear a monthly report on activities of the Power Supply Administration.
• In closed session, discuss labor contracts with the Turlock Irrigation District Employees' Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The IBEW has been without a contract since December 2011; the labor dispute led to a 45 hour electricity outage for 49 TID customers in September 2012, when IBEW workers declined to fix the issue, then interfered with other work crews.

The Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Board Room of the TID Main Office Building, 333 E. Canal Dr.

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