Canada-headed organic waste treatment plant operators and technology providers Anaergia Inc., has recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of its Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system at the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility (HARRF), in the US City of Escondido, California. This CHP system utilizes digester gas from the wastewater treatment process to generate renewable electricity and heat for the facility’s operations.
As a result of this new system, all the biogas produced by HARRF’s anaerobic digesters, which was previously flared, is now utilized to generate sustainable green energy. Anaergia and the City of Escondido have entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA), so that the electricity and heat are sold by Anaergia at below market rates, for the operations of the HARRF.
The implementation of renewable energy initiatives that have a positive impact on the environment is something that is increasingly vital. The fact that we are partnering with the City of Escondido to do this here at the HARRF is an achievement that has benefits both for the local community, and for the environment, remarked Andrew Benedek, CEO of Anaergia.
The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) supported this project. The SGIP provides incentives to support existing, new, and emerging distributed energy resources. It is one of the longest-running and most successful distributed generation incentive programs in the country.
The SGIP is a part of California’s efforts to lead the nation in the adoption of clean energy technologies. Locally, residents can benefit from projects such as this new CHP system as it produces renewable power, reduces electricity grid demand, and helps curb fossil fuel-generated greenhouse gas emissions, said Lindsey Hawes, Assistant Director at the Center for Sustainable Energy.
The HARRF meets the domestic and industrial wastewater treatment needs of the City of Escondido and the Rancho Bernardo area of the City of San Diego. It is designed to treat a flow of 18 million gallons (≈ 68.1 million litres) per day of wastewater. The HARRF has twice been awarded “plant of the year,” receiving this award from the California Water Pollution Control Association and from the California Water Environmental Association
The City has been continually upgrading and improving the HARRF. The utilization of biogas to generate renewable energy is an important step in optimizing this Facility’s operations and has been a personal goal of mine, said Chris McKinney, Director of Utilities of the City of Escondido.