Jay Brown: Irrigation System Updates

Idaho Power agricultural customer Jay Brown knew his deep-well irrigation system could be more efficient.

When considering how he could use water and energy more efficiently, he contacted Idaho Power Agriculture Representative Tim Fenwick.

Working closely with Idaho Power, Brown concluded he could significantly reduce his energy use, increase his irrigated acreage, improve his irrigation uniformity and receive a cash incentive through our Irrigation Efficiency program.

Existing System

Brown’s existing system consisted of:

  • 107 acres of sprinkled crops
  • A sprinkler system with nine hand-lines flowing 1,300 gallons of water per minute (gpm) pressured by a 300 horsepower (hp) deep-well pump at 75 pounds of pressure per square inch (psi)

What Changes Were Made?

By installing an energy-efficient, low-pressure center pivot, Brown was eligible for cash incentives through the Irrigation Efficiency program. The upgrades to Brown’s irrigation system qualified for $0.25 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) saved, or $450 per kilowatt (kW), up to 75 percent of the total system cost.

  • A buried power line allowed for a low-pressure center pivot with goosenecks, drops and 20-psi low-pressure regulators
  • A more efficient system that operates at 900 gpm, 200-hp, and only 45 psi

What Were the Results?

  • An increase in irrigated land to 131 acres; an increased crop yield
  • An 81.4-kW (100-hp) reduction; a 37 percent demand reduction
  • An estimated 152,493 kWh reduction; an estimated 45.4 percent energy reduction
  • An Idaho Power incentive that paid for nearly 32 percent of the total cost to make the upgrades
  • A gain of an estimated $9,500 in energy savings per year
  • A reduction in labor costs