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California American Water


California American Water


Thousand Oaks, CA




During blackouts, water pumps cannot maintain domestic water supplies and customers are without water for the outage duration. California American Water found a creative solution to the problem: use batteries for back-up power at pumping stations to power the pumps through wildfire outages.

These systems are known as Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS).


Cal Am developed a purchase contract to govern all aspects of the BESS selection, project design, installation, and testing. Bocci guided negotiations for the contract and initiated numerous changes to reduce Cal Am’s risk and clarify the text. We also ensured additional documents required by the contract were filed in the project records.


We then took the lead in defining Cal Am’s requirements for BESS operation during a power outage, including the operating Key Performance Indicators in the contract. We supervised development of the test procedures used to prove Cal Am’s new battery system operates as required including key performance indicators.


The vendor submitted engineering drawings and equipment submittals at three pre-determined points in the design process. Bocci personnel used their expertise in engineering design, code compliance, and suitability of the proposed equipment to ensure delivery of a qualified BESS. Bocci led discussions between Cal Am and the vendor as ideas were discussed and plans finalized.

battery energy storage


Bocci’s engineers were on-site as construction progressed to ensure the installer demonstrated compliance with the drawings, code requirements and equipment submittals. To resolve issues during construction, Bocci developed an Issues Log and managed them to closure for Cal Am. In order to assure Cal Am the system was ready for operation, Bocci engineers were on site to witness demonstration of BESS operation and to confirm Key Performance Indicators were met. Bocci then confirmed proper connection of Cal Am’s pumping station equipment and controls to the new system. Finally, the existing pumps and BESS were tested as a system in real-world conditions.


As part of the close out process, Bocci delivered an Operations Manual containing records of the testing, installer’s quality control reports, the engineer’s as-built drawings, and User Manuals from the equipment manufacturers to Cal Am. These records will be valuable resources to future operators.


Cal Am achieved its objective to enhance system resiliency as a result of BESS installation. Every new BESS Cal Am installs means one less pumping station reliant on Cal Am’s fleet of trailer-mounted generators during an outage. Cal Am values safety for customers, employees, and vendors. The new systems operate automatically and immediately. Unlike generators, the batteries eliminate the need for operators to make high voltage temporary connections in adverse conditions.

Bocci delivered subject matter expertise in these areas:


  • Electrical engineering, electrical construction practices,
    utility rate structures, and financial analysis


  • Legal contract terms and conditions for the purchase of
    engineering services and capital equipment


  • Owner’s acceptance commissioning and code
    compliance assurance


  • Project and risk management and establishment of a
    repeatable process


  • Project documentation for use by future Cal Am employees
    and contractors

BESS system
BESS system
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