City of Guelph cogeneration facility turns wastewater gas into energy

Wastewater Treatment Plant produces enough energy to power 469 homes each year

GUELPH, ON, December 2, 2008 – Recent upgrades to the cogeneration facility at the City of Guelph Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) will allow the City to save money by producing energy on-site.

Guelph’s cogeneration facility includes two reciprocating cogeneration engines and generators that use the methane gas collected as part of the wastewater treatment process to produce electricity to power the WWTP.

Upgrades to the cogeneration facility are another important step in achieving the goals set out in the Community Energy Plan. The WWTP will generate approximately 4,020,000 kWh annually or enough energy to power 469 homes each year. Generating green energy to power the WWTP will offset around 3,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions that would be produced from non-renewable, fossil fuel based energy sources. The anticipated savings in electrical costs are estimated to be approximately $300,000 annually.

“This cogeneration facility is just one more way we are working towards our Community Energy Plan’s ambitious goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to below the current global average. We are creating renewable energy and saving on energy costs at the same time,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “I want to thank Guelph Hydro for their support and partnership in this initiative.”

Upgrades to the cogeneration facility include the installation of a scrubber to remove siloxane from the digester gas, as well as improvements to the cooling system to address overheating of the cogeneration units. The total cost of the upgrades is approximately $900,000. Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. contributed $100,000 towards the facility upgrade.

“This is a great example of partnership benefiting our community,” commented Guelph Hydro president Art Stokman. “This refurbishment of the existing cogeneration facility will result in savings of up to one third of the plant’s power requirements.” Guelph Hydro’s contribution was funded by the Ontario Energy Board’s energy conservation initiative.

The WWTP cogeneration facility will simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat to power the plant. Upgrades to the cogeneration facility will supply the WWTP with one third of the power it requires to operate along with standby power for critical processes in the event of a power failure.

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Kiran Suresh
Project Manager
Wastewater Services
Environmental Services
T 519-822-1260  x 2960
Matt Weninger
Director of Metering and Communications
Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.
T 519-837-4720