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Sixteen Agencies Team to Convert Biosolids to Energy for Regional Solution

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A consortium of San Francisco Bay Area agencies charged with wastewater treatment is developing a Biosolids to Energy project to address biosolids management issues affecting agencies and their rate payers around the San Francisco Bay Area. Known as the Bay Area Biosolids to Energy (BAB2E) Coalition, the project goals are to maximize the renewable energy potential in biosolids and minimize greenhouse gas emissions, while diversifying biosolids management options to include alternatives that will not be dependent on agricultural use of the biosolids, or the need to send biosolids to landfills. The project is aligned with state and federal initiatives to develop renewable energy resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agencies are collaborating on the project under a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement (JEPA).

Most of the participating agencies presently utilize a combination of hauling biosolids for land application and/or alternative daily cover at landfills and would like to see these beneficial uses preserved. However, increasingly restrictive regulations and diminishing landfill capacity have been the impetus to seek a long-term sustainable alternative that will diversify biosolids management options.

Major steps have been taken to implement the Bay Area Biosolids-to-Energy (BAB2E) project. The Coalition selected three qualified teams through a Request for Qualifications process for the development of a regional facility to be sited in the nine-county Bay Area. A one million dollar state grant has been received and is being used to implement a 7 DTPD demonstration plant for one of the short listed technologies. During this demonstration process, the Coalition final governance, public outreach, construction funding and project delivery options are being developed and implemented.

Keywords: Energy; biosolids; regional

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-01-01

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