Optimizing irrigation & energy use In addition to optimizing irrigation at the field level, IMO provides a tool for planning and evaluating management strategies that minimize energy costs or capitalize on utility funded incentive payments for energy load shifting.
The California Energy Commission (CEC) is interested in ways to make agriculture a more profitable, flexible player in grid management, load shifting and energy markets. In 2017, they funded redevelopment of IMO from a research prototype into a commercial energy/water use optimization tool. IMO's ability to find site-specific timing strategies to optimize the value of water at full irrigation and below make it uniquely suited to optimizing energy costs associated with delivering the water to the field during the growing season.
For this project we have been looking at, among other things:
Economic potential of reduce energy use through reduced irrigations
Modified energy use timing by shifting irrigations to off-peak hours
Cost/benefit of dropping irrigations for 4-hour windows 9-15 times during the season
Alternative scheduling methods that extend from the crop and field into the larger water delivery system
Over 2019-2020 we will use this website to post case studies and excerpts from our findings.