2021 Fellow: Emily Klingaman, ’22 (Environmental Systems Engineering)

Learn more about Emily’s experience:

This fellowship is part of a partnership between Stanford in Government, the Precourt Institute for Energy, and the Bill Lane Center for the American West. If you are accepted as the fellow for this office, you will be required to complete a one-unit course on energy in California taught by Professors Bruce Cain and Sally Benson during Spring Quarter. Please refer to the Shultz Energy Fellowships website for full program requirements.

Organization/Agency mission or role in state government

The State Water Project (SWP) is one of the largest water and power systems in the world. It is a water storage and delivery system of reservoirs, aqueducts, power plants, and pumping plants extending more than 700 miles—two-thirds the length of California. It conveys, on average, 2.4 million acre-feet of water annually to 29 long-term water contractors serving 27 million customers and 750,000 acres of farmland. The SWP consist of 21 pumping plants, 8 hydroelectric power plants (includes three pumped storage plants), 25 dams, and 34 reservoirs. This infrastructure includes USA’s highest earth-filled dam (Oroville Dam) and the largest single lift pumps (close to 2000 feet) in the USA, used to move water over the Tehachapi Mountains into Southern California. Though the primary purpose of the SWP is water supply, the project produces hydroelectric power to operate pumping facilities required to move water from Northern to Southern California, and also sells power when it generates a surplus of electricity.

The State Water Project Power and Risk Office (PARO) is responsible for strategizing future power portfolio projects and procuring long-term power and transmission resources for the project. The objective is to have a process in place to plan the SWP portfolio of energy resources to ensure reliable, efficient, and cost-effective delivery of water to State Water Contractors. To be able to accomplish these goals there is a need to closely follow and adapt strategies to the energy markets’ evolution and market design changes, energy price profiles, renewables development costs, reliability obligations and mandates. There are some key drivers in the power market, and the SWP needs to track, analyze, and adjust its operations strategies to mitigate future impacts on SWP power portfolio.

Potential Projects: 

Conduct energy audits and feasibility planning studies in response to Governor’s Executive Order B-18-12 related to building energy efficiency and Zero Net Energy mandates: Executive Order B-18-12 is in response to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 that requires the State to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and beyond and orders State Agencies take actions to reduce entity-wide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2020, as measured against a 2010 baseline and to achieve Zero Net Energy for at least 50% of facilities. The Project Intern will be involved in performing and analyzing facility energy audits and collaborating with the state’s Investor-Owned Utilities to develop energy conservation measures to meet the Executive Order targets and mandates. The Project Intern will also perform studies assessing the feasibility and viability of integrating renewable resources (solar) and energy storage (batteries) at SWP facilities to help meet the State’s Zero Net Energy mandates. The Project Intern will be working out of the Water and Energy Efficiency Branch within DWR’s Power and Risk Office. Studies will include modeling changes to SWP operational strategies that would better utilize the on-site solar and battery storage technologies. The assessment will include fatal Flaw Analysis, site assessment, integration technologies, economic viability, and power market assessments.

Desired skills:

  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Quick and eager learner
  • Flexible to adapt to changing priorities
  • Good common sense and ability to perceive appropriate decorum in a variety of settings, from meetings with Governor’s Office staff, legislative committees to interaction with the State Water Contractors.


This fellowship is open to undergraduate students.

Work Environment

It is anticipated that this fellowship opportunity will be remote. 


  • George Baldini, Chief, Water and Energy Efficiency Branch

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