New Cogeneration System Enables Wastewater Treatment Plant to Use Treatment Byproducts as Fuel

May 6, 2010
Combined with blower retrofit, upgrades expected to save more than $228,000 per year

A new cogeneration system installed at the BuddInlet Treatment Plant by the LOTT (Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and Thurston County) Alliance late last year has substantially reduced the amount of energy needed for treatment processes and buildings at the plant by using treatment byproducts as fuel. This renewable energy system, combined with an aeration blower retrofit currently underway at the Budd Inlet Treatment Plant, is expected to save LOTT more than $228,000 per year in utility costs.

As a recognition of their commitment to environmental responsibility and to optimizing the wastewater treatment process, leaders at the LOTT Alliance will receive the Trane Energy Efficiency Leader Award for their sustainable energy and operational efficiency improvements.

Vince Canino, director of service and contracting sales, West territory, Trane, will present the award to Michael D. Strub, executive director, LOTT Alliance. The awards presentation will take place at noon on May 6, outside the cogeneration building at the Budd Inlet Treatment Plant, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia, Wash. An open house at 11:30 a.m. will precede the award ceremony.

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) provided a $1.7-million energy conservation grant to install the cogeneration system. PSE is Washington’s oldest and largest energy utility, with a 6,000-sq-mile service area stretching across 11 counties. They serve more than 1 million electric customers and nearly 750,000 natural gas customers. The PSE grant represents 70% of an estimated total project cost of $2.4 million for the cogeneration system project. The estimated PSE grant for the aeration blower upgrade is more than $300,000, which represents 70% of the total project cost. The combined projects are expected to result in an energy savings of more than 2.8 million kW hours per year, enough to power more than 210 Thurston County homes.

LOTT’s cogeneration system converts methane gas to heat and energy for use in LOTT’s Regional Services Center, which will be complete in July, and for future use in the new Hands On Children’s Museum, which will be located next to the plant. The Regional Services Center houses the Water Education and Technology (WET) Center, an educational center for ages 10 and older, a water quality laboratory and offices. The new Hands On Children’s Museum, scheduled to break ground this summer, is an independent non-profit organization that provides interactive educational experiences for children ages 10 and younger.

The cogeneration system, expected to save nearly $180,000 a year in utility costs, enables the cogeneration plant to provide all of the heating required at the site as a “district heating” plant, eliminating the need to burn off excess digester gas and greatly reducing the emissions of the site. The blower retrofit, scheduled for completion in August 2010, is expected to save more than $48,000 in utility costs for the LOTT Alliance. As an innovative, renewable energy technology, the cogeneration system supports plans to earn LEED certification for the LOTT Regional Services Center and the new Hands On Children’s Museum.

Source: Trane

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