The issues with the Tehachapi Cummings County Water District are becoming an irritation to most observers. During drought years, TCCWD spends big bucks for the natural gas fuel for the water pumps, up to, it was reported, $2 million per year. Pumping natural gas with the diesel engines is known to be not as efficient, as natural gas being used in combined cycle operations to produce electricity instead. But, more than this, here we are, embarrassed by our proud wind-energy accomplishments unable to provide our own water.

There is an answer on the way now to help solve the come-and-go nature of the wind turbines, so as to even out the power supplied to the pumps. Energy storage is being installed, nicknamed “TESP” or “Tehachapi Energy Storage Project.” It would be well for TCCWD to begin planning for use of electrical power from our wind projects for the pumps at lower rates, perhaps much lower, than the natural gas. The convenient high voltage transmission line along Highline Road would most probably serve quite well for this purpose.

Tehachapi cannot be allowed to be limited by lack of a good water resource. Plenty of land here is available for more housing, especially housing that is affordable and near town. Let’s let these water-supply questions go away in our new age of developing renewable energy technology. Thanks.

—Tony Chessick, Tehachapi