ADR for Agriculture

Offset the cost to install remote monitoring and controls on irrigation pumps, and to install soil/plant moisture monitoring solutions in the fields irrigated by pumps that participate in the PG&E ADR Program

"Irrigation systems, pipes and faucets for watering."

Between 2012 and 2017, 25 growers from Chico to Bakersfield participated in the ADR Program, automating a total of 215 pumps and qualifying for about $2.4 million in incentives.

Project Profiles

Central Valley Dairyman Saves BIG
Measures: Remote monitoring and control of irrigation pumps
Program Incentive: $184,600
Load Shed: 997 kW
Description: The grower installed remote monitoring and a control solution on 10 irrigation pumps, with a combined power draw of about 1 MW (equivalent to about 1,340 horsepower). The grower originally had concerns about participating in back-to-back Demand Response (DR) event days. However, the farm successfully participated in every DR event called in 2015 by anticipating DR events and irrigating fields at night.

Northern California Grower – Capay Farms – Improves Operational Capabilities
Measures: Remote monitoring and control of irrigation pumps
Incentives: $91,510
Load Shed: 544 kW (~730 hp; combined from 24 irrigation pumps)
Description: Capay Farms grows almonds and walnuts on over 10,000 acres. The grower automated a labor intensive process of participating in a DR program manually. The pump control solution was installed on 24 pumps and allowed the customer to streamline irrigation operations, while earning ongoing revenue by participating in a DR program. During drought when water is limited, these improvements and a network of soil moisture monitoring help to more effectively manage irrigation systems.

“Our pump automation and farm telemetry project involved 16 irrigation pumps over 10,000 acres of farmland. With so many pumps involved, capital costs were a big concern. Funding from PG&E’s Automated Demand Response (ADR) Program allowed us to move the project forward and covered most of the equipment and installation costs. Having remote start/stop control on each pump has made our regular operations and participation in Demand Response (DR) much easier and a lot more cost-effective. After the initial success, we followed up with another application for funding to automate 8 more pumps. Automating DR fits into our data-driven farming approach at Capay Farms. Data on pumps, irrigation, weather, soil moisture, and other equipment can now be collected remotely and delivered to staff to make informed decisions. I highly recommend PG&E’s ADR Program.”

— Dan Cummings, Capay Farms (In 2009, started manual DR participation, upgraded to semi-automated DR participation in 2011, then upgraded to automated DR participation in 2015)

Common strategies for temporarily reducing load for demand response:

  • Adjust irrigation schedules to keep pumps off during DR events and to irrigate fields outside of DR events
  • Use deep well pumps outside of DR events to move water into reservoirs, then rely on booster pumps with smaller power draw to irrigate fields as needed
  • With the use of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) on pumps, lower pump power draw during DR events and irrigate smaller blocks at a time

Get more info on the ADR Program for Agricultural Customers:

Contact: Questions? Our agricultural sector specialist is available to help you get started.