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​BPA's agricultural sector offers a range of programs and measure opportunities to help customer utilities serve their agricultural customers and meet their conservation targets. The agricultural sector includes programs in Scientific Irrigation Scheduling (SIS), Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), irrigation pump testing and system analysis, irrigation hardware upgrades, lighting, and custom project opportunities for dairies and wineries. Below are the highlights of agricultural program offerings. Visit the Energy Efficiency Implementation Manual for full measure details.

Implementation Manual

​Scientific Irrigation Scheduling (also known as Irrigation Water Management)
Scientific Irrigation Scheduling (SIS) helps irrigators know exactly when to irrigate crops and how much water to apply through a system that monitors weather and soil moisture data. In addition to reducing energy costs for pumping water, SIS conserves water and reduces fertilizer use and run off. Annual energy and water savings with SIS are estimated at 10 percent. ​
Variable Frequency Drives ​
Variable Frequency Drives

Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) can control the start up and operational characteristics of a motor or pump/motor combination. By providing soft starts and slow ramp-up speeds, VFDs are proven to substantially reduce energy use in turbine pumps and potato or onion storage motors. Other VFD applications include irrigation pumps, air compressors, and dairy vacuum pumps.

Irrigation Pump Testing and System Analysis​

An irrigation system analysis or pump testing may identify opportunities to increase the efficiency of a pumping plant and irrigation delivery system. These opportunities include low-pressure conversion for center pivots and laterals, reduction of friction losses in piping, and rebuilding pumps and trimming pump impellers.

​Irrigation Hardware Upgrades

Reimbursements are available for the replacement or installation of high-efficiency irrigation equipment including nozzles, brass sprinklers, gaskets, regulators, drop tubes and multi-trajectory sprays. Reimbursements are also available for repair of leaking hand lines, wheel lines and portable mainlines.

LEPA and LESA Irrigation Technology

BPA funded research with Washington State University (WSU) and University of Idaho (U of I), partnered in a demonstration pilot to assess the viability and suitability of the Low Energy Precision Agriculture (LEPA) and Low Elevation Sprinkler Application (LESA) irrigation technology for broader deployment in the Northwest. LEPA and LESA technology was originally designed for center pivot irrigation in areas with short water supply and high energy costs.  These measures are very popular in the Midwest and Texas.  In the Pacific Northwest, the typical center pivot has sprinklers on top of the top pipe or on drop tubes (which are called Mid Elevation Sprinkler Application (MESA)).  WSU and U of I focused their research on LESA.

Lighting upgrade projects are quite common and popular across industrial, commercial and agricultural sectors. In addition to energy cost savings between 25 to 50 percent, energy-efficient lighting upgrades can increase visual acuity and lighting equipment life; improve security; and improve worker safety, productivity and quality of work.
Wineries ​
With nearly 1,000 wineries and vineyards in the Pacific Northwest, wineries are the fastest growing segment within the agriculture community. Energy saving enhancements such as lighting upgrades, HVAC, pipe insulation, compressed air, VFDs and refrigeration are all eligible opportunities for utility incentives.