Sunny and Solar at Jensen Plant
When we talk about Metropolitan's accomplishments, we usually focus on the work over the past 90 years to build and run some of the world's largest man-made water systems and deliver safe, reliable water supplies every hour of every day. But an equally important measure of Met's success is our environmental
This week, Met marks another milestone in that legacy with the start of operations at the new 1-megawatt solar plant at the Jensen Water Treatment Plant in Granada Hills. The $4.5 million clean energy investment is enough to supply about 20% of the power used by the plant each year and it will also reduce operational costs.
This is the district's fourth solar project and adds to investment made for solar power during the past decade. As effects from climate change become more evident, clean energy solutions like these solar projects can help assure water reliability throughout the Southland.
In addition to saving money, the new facility will prevent about 670 tons of carbon dioxide each year - roughly the amount of emissions created from burning 710,000 pounds of coal.
Metropolitan also has a 1-megawatt plant at the Skinner Treatment Plant in Winchester, a 0.5-megawatt solar facility at Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet, and a 3-megawatt solar plant at the Weymouth Treatment Plant in La Verne.
Enjoy Many Local Museums for Free
On Sunday, January 28, dozens of Southern California museums - presenting science, natural history, cultural heritage and art - are inviting visitors to attend free of charge. The annual "Free for All" event includes many destinations in the Los Angeles area, as well as museums in Pomona, Riverside, Orange County, Santa Barbara and other communities.
The offer is for general admission and does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. For more information:
For Met staff in Sacramento, the annual Museum Day event is on February 3. Participating museums will offer free or half-priced admission. For more information:
Speaking of museums, did you know that Metropolitan and many other water agencies have free museum-quality visitor centers that are open to the public year-round?
One is the
Visitors Center at Diamond Valley Lake
which has displays to teach kids and adults about water and the building of the lake through hands-on exhibits, maps, fossils and more.
The California Department of Water Resources has free visitor centers at Lake Oroville, San Luis Reservoir and the Vista del Lago Visitors Center on I-5 near Pyramid Lake, about an hour north of Los Angeles. Vista Del Lago also houses an exhibit room with displays about Southern California water stories that was designed and funded by Metropolitan.
Engineering Calm Under Pressure
It's reassuring that Metropolitan's
"protection engineer" tasked with oversight of the district's vast electrical system safety practices Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese exercise that brings mental calm and clarity.
Most Saturdays, 25-year employee
Jacky Wong, principal engineer in WSO, practices Tai Chi and Tai Chi sword.
But on weekdays, you'll find him out in the field or at headquarters where he is involved in the maintenance of Met's hydroelectric pumping plants, treatment facilities and desert electrical facilities along the Colorado River. In recent years,
Jacky says the district has been actively involved in upgrading the electrical system to meet new standards and keep pace with changes in the energy market.
Most of his work happens during planned shutdowns, taking advantage of access to test or change out circuit breakers, new protection equipment, electrical disconnects and reactors.
Met's busy shutdown schedule,
Jacky is planning to continue his charity work with a visit to China. Through the First Chinese Baptist Church in Walnut,
Jacky supports two children in China's Guang Xi Province. These children are part of an organization that cares for orphans, children with disabilities and those who are left in villages while their parents find work elsewhere. "God gives us presents and love and it is our chance to share in the communities," he says.