Staying true to its more-than-a-century-old watery origins,
Turlock Irrigation District (TID) provides irrigation services to
more than 5,800 farmers in its service area (149,560 acres of
farmland). Its primary water supply comes from the Tuolumne river.
The company also provides electric generation, transmission, and
distribution services (the main source of its reveneues) to
more than 99,600 retail customers in and around Turlock,
California, and it sells power and natural gas to wholesale
customers. TID provides electric service to its customer base in a
662-sq.-ml. service area encompassing portions of Merced,
Stanislaus, and Tuolumne counties, over 2,200 miles of distribution
The company's strategy is to balance its water supply and energy
supply in a way that allows it to expand and upgrade its supporting
infrastructure while maintaining low costs.
In a move to expand and "green" its energy supply, in 2009 TID
acquired 136.6 MW of wind power by buying the $385
million Tuolumne Wind Project, located in Klickitat County,
Washington. TID had set a goal of getting 20% of its power supply
from renewable sources by 2017. The 2009 wind power purchase gave
the company 28%, enabling it to exceed its green
energy target several years ahead of schedule. That year TID
also began to install Smart meters (programmable and interactive
electric meters) as a way to help its members conserve
Enabling the company to respond to the need for
additional power capacity, in 2010 TID secured state approval
to build the 174 MW Almond 2 Power Plant near the city of
Ceres in Stanislaus county.
An average rainfall, after years of drought, also allowed TID to
supply irrigation water users with their full annual allotment
of 48 inches of water in 2010.
That year the company reported a jump in net revenues, thanks
largely to increased wholesale power demand and higher power
prices, which offset a dip in retail consumption. Higher expenses
(led by an increase in purchased power and depreciation and
amortization expenses) led to a drop in operating income for the
In 1900 Turlock Irrigation District (which was founded in 1887)
became the first system to supply irrigation to California growers,
paving the way for the production of high-value crops in the
semi-arid region of the Northern San Joaquin Valley. It
moved into retail electric distribution in 1923.