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Energy Independence Project

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Achieving energy independence for the Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies and Energy Trust of Oregon, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants investigated how domestic wastewater treatment plants could most effectively eliminate the purchase of electricity, using energyefficiency measures (EEMs) and renewable resources to become energy independent. The 2008 study evaluated two wastewater treatment facilities, in Gresham and Corvallis, both using anaerobic digesters and advanced secondary treatment. The study showed that the Gresham and Corvallis plants could achieve energy independence by using energy efficiency, maximizing the use of digester gas, and installing micro-hydropower and solar photovoltaic systems (solar PV). This project was awarded the 2009 Oregon Project of the Year by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

Kennedy/Jenks' recommended path toward energy independence

Apply energy-efficiency measures (EEMs) first – the most cost-effective way to reduce energy needs and save money. Conduct energy audits to identify EEMs and then seek incentives.

IC engines are the most cost-effective and overall best generation option.

Investigate a FOG and Green Waste program to create more digester gas, which can then power microturbines, fuel cells, and IC engines.

After using all available digester gas, consider solar PV systems.

Because these resources have high capital costs, consider third-party lease options to avoid upfront capital costs, fix O&M costs, and take advantage of tax credits.

Keywords: Energy independence; energy efficiency; renewable energy; renewables; wastewater treatment plants

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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