Cogeneration system uses wastewater treatment byproducts as fuel

Olympia, Wash., May 3, 2010 — A new cogeneration system installed at the Budd Inlet Treatment Plant by the LOTT (Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and Thurston counties) Alliance late last year has 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.

Because 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.

Puget Sound Energy provided a $1.7 million Energy Conservation Grant to install the cogeneration system.

PSE is Washington State’s oldest and largest energy utility, with a 6,000-square-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 percent 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 percent of the total project cost. The combined projects are expected to result in an energy savings of more than 2.8 million kWh 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 completed in July, and for future use in the new Hands On Children’s Museum, which will be located next to the plant.

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 a 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.


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