Robert Shepard: Irrigation System Upgrades

Eden, Idaho, customer Robert Shepard realized his irrigation system could operate more efficiently.

Working with Idaho Power Agriculture Representative Daniel Moore, Shepard upgraded his irrigation system.

Moore introduced Shepard to Idaho Power’s Irrigation Efficiency Rewards program allowing Shepard to receive cash incentives for making energy-efficient upgrades to his system.

Shepard now saves energy and money and operates a more profitable farm.

Existing System

  • 130 acres of irrigated crop land
  • Two pumping service points totaling 75 horsepower (hp)
  • Two lateral wheel-lines with handlines requiring 1,100 gallons of water per minute (gpm) at 90 pounds of pressure per square inch (psi).

What Changes Were Made?

While maintaining the 130 acres of crop land, Shepard decreased his horsepower needs by installing a center pivot, making the system eligible for $0.25 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) saved, or $450 per kilowatt (kW), up to 75 percent of the total cost.

Shepard’s system included:

  • A 1,278-foot low-pressure center pivot with 147 elbows, drops, 15 psi low-pressure regulators and low pressure rotating sprinkler heads
  • A 40-hp pump supplying 1,150 gpm at only 45 psi

What Were the Results?

  • A 33 kW (40-hp) demand reduction representing 46.8 percent of his demand usage
  • An estimated 70,119 kWh energy savings representing a 48 percent reduction in energy usage
  • An Idaho Power incentive that paid for nearly 15 percent of the total project
  • An estimated $4,275 in total energy savings per year
  • Reduction in labor costs
  • Potential for increased yield