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Groundbreaking held for largest wastewater biogas facility in the US

In the United States (US), the City of Phoenix, Arizona, and Ameresco Inc, a renewable energy and energy efficiency company have held a ceremonial groundbreaking event marking the start of a multi-million dollar wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) biogas utilization project.

On February 2, 2017, the City of Phoenix, Arizona, and Ameresco Inc, held a ceremonial groundbreaking event marking the start of a multi-million dollar wastewater treatment plant biogas utilization project. It was officiated by representatives including city leaders from Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe (photo courtesy Kathryn Sorensen).

Owned by the Sub-Regional Operating Group (SROG) made up of Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe, the 91st Ave Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Phoenix serves these cities and is operated by the City of Phoenix. Currently, a small portion of the raw biogas produced at the WWTP as part of the wastewater treatment process is burned as boiler fuel in the plant, but most of the gas is flared.

Making Phoenix more sustainable isn’t just the right thing to do, it also sparks innovation and creates exciting new economic opportunities. By partnering with Ameresco at our new processing plant, Phoenix is taking previously untapped raw biogas generated by wastewater treatment and turning it into a renewable energy source that can be sold. This cutting-edge partnership benefits our regional economy and environment at the same time. Phoenix has set ambitious sustainability and renewable energy goals, and this partnership will help us get there, remarked Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

Upgrading and grid injection

Ameresco will design, build, own, operate and maintain (DBOOM) the wastewater biogas-to-energy facility. The 91st Ave biogas project will upgrade the raw biogas from the anaerobic digesters into biomethane and inject it as renewable natural gas (RNG) into the gas pipeline.

Expected to be operational in late 2017, the 3 250 standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM) capacity facility in Phoenix will be the largest wastewater treatment biogas-to-renewable natural gas (RNG) plant of its kind in the United States.

Ameresco is honored to be partnering with the cities of Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe and Scottsdale, and we’re truly excited to break ground and get underway. The exceptional aspect of this project is the ability to capture a wasted resource and utilize it, thereby efficiently making use of this valuable renewable energy asset. We’re looking forward to making this project a reality later this year for a community that recognizes the tremendous value and importance of environmental stewardship in conjunction with fueling the local economic growth engine with this new business while at the same time reducing its costs, said Michael T. Bakas, Senior Vice President, Ameresco.

Phoenix is the capital and largest city in the State of Arizona. With approximately 1.56 million inhabitants, Phoenix is the sixth most populous city in the US.

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