John Hurley: Irrigation System Improvements

Castleford, Idaho farmer John Hurley wanted to make better use of his water with a more manageable and efficient irrigation system.

With help from Idaho Power and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) he successfully upgraded his irrigation system from gravity flood irrigation to a low-pressure pivot system.

Existing System

Hurley’s existing system consisted of:

  • 142 acres of gravity flood irrigation
  • Crops included: Alfalfa, beans, corn and grain

What Changes Were Made?

This system qualified as a new system under the current Idaho Power incentive structure, eligible for $0.25 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) saved, not to exceed 10 percent of the total project cost.

  • 118.2 acres were converted to low pressure pivot sprinkler irrigation
  • New 1,304-foot hydraulic pivot installed with a 10 horsepower (hp) hydraulic pump
  • 30 hp irrigation pump operating at 26 hp trimmed to the minimum Total Dynamic Head (TDH) needed
  • 29 feet lower than the standard for this field
  • 92.4 percent high efficiency electric motor
  • Two percent higher than standard

John saved an additional 5 hp by switching from a 15 hp hydraulic pump for the pivot to a 10 hp pump. While this slowed the pivot down if he had to walk the pivot dry, it did not have an effect on the speeds required while irrigating. John worked closely with Idaho Power to ensure an energy efficient design to maximize the incentive from Idaho Power.

What Were the Results?

  • Total system cost of $87,134
  • A pivot operating at 890 gallons per minute at 95 TDH
  • An Idaho Power incentive of $4,303.85
  • An estimated 17,215 kWh savings and 8.6 kilowatt savings from a standard system