Stormwater and Solar+Storage Projects Honored for Engineering Excellence

Western Council of Construction Consumers Honors LADWP with Six Awards

By Paola Adler

Two innovative LADWP projects were recently honored with six awards from the Western Council of Construction Consumers (WCCC) for excellence, sustainability and innovation in construction. LADWP Water System’s Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project and LADWP Power System’s Beacon Solar & Battery Energy Storage System were each awarded three 2019 Owners’ Project Excellence Awards. The WCCC award program recognizes continuous improvement and excellence in engineering, design and construction of quality, cost-effective, innovative and sustainable construction projects.

The Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project reconfigures and deepens 20 existing stormwater capture spreading basins of varying sizes into 10 deeper basins, doubling the capture capacity of the stormwater that percolates into the natural aquifer below to recharge the City’s groundwater supply. The Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project will increase LADWP’s capture capacity to 5 billion gallons of water, enough to supply up to 48,000 single family homes in Los Angeles. The enhancements will also help improve the environment and provide social equity by beautifying the community with native vegetation and open space.

LADWP’s Beacon Solar & Battery Energy Storage System is the Department’s largest owned solar plus utility-scale energy storage facility, supplying 250 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy alongside a 20MW lithium-ion battery storage system. The project is the first of its kind for the Department. The power plant and storage system work in tandem to supply clean, carbon-free energy to LADWP’s customers while maintaining reliability. The project will help support the Department’s renewable energy goals, such as providing a 100 percent renewable energy supply by 2045 as outlined by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s 2019 Sustainable City pLAn.

“These two projects showcase LADWP’s commitment to excellence across the Department,” said Martin L. Adams, LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer. “Innovation in engineering has always been at the core of what we do at LADWP, all the way back to William Mulholland. Our employees continue to plan and build innovative solutions to provide safe and reliable water and power to our customers.”

In the “Infrastructure – New Construction” category, WCCC awarded LADWP’s Beacon project its second highest award, the Distinguished Project Achievement Award, for meeting its criteria requirements while also maintaining an extraordinary safety record. LADWP’s Tujunga Spreading Grounds project received the Exceptional Project Achievement Award, the WCCC’s third highest honor, in the “Infrastructure – Renovation” category. Both projects were also recognized with two Special Distinction Awards – the Sustainability Excellence Award, given to projects that achieved high sustainability requirements, took creative sustainability approaches and achieved significant energy savings; and the Innovative Project Solutions Award, for projects where new, unique or innovative construction solutions were implemented.

The projects have also been recognized through industry awards at the state and national level, with Tujunga receiving two awards in Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Sciences (AAEES) in April 2019 and Beacon being chosen as the American Society of Civil Engineer (ASCE) Region 9 “Outstanding Energy Project” for 2018.

LADWP’s Water Resources division is supporting the Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project, which will be completed in late 2020. Learn more about the project by visiting or watching the following video.

LADWP’s Beacon Solar & Battery Energy Storage System has been operational since October 2018. You can learn more by reading our project profile here on Intake.