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Wastewater treatment plant biogas project

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Ameresco, Inc., a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, and the City of Phoenix have announced a multi-million dollar wastewater treatment biogas project at the 91st Avenue wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Ameresco will design, build, own, operate and maintain (DBOOM) the innovative wastewater biogas to energy facility. The WWTP is owned by the Sub-Regional Operating Group (SROG) made up of Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe. The WWTP is operated by the City of Phoenix.

The 91st Avenue biogas project, which is expected to be operational in late 2017, will process the raw biogas generated in the anaerobic digesters into renewable natural gas (RNG) that will be sold to the vehicle market through the natural gas pipeline grid. The biogas is a mixture of different gasses (mostly methane and carbon dioxide) produced through the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter that is delivered to the WWTP. With a project size of 3250 ft3/min capacity, the project is expected to be largest of its kind in the nation.

“This cutting edge partnership will enable Phoenix to turn wasted biogas from the plant’s digesters into green gas that can be sold for profit,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “This is a business opportunity that also improves air quality and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which moves Phoenix closer to our goal of 15% renewable energy citywide.”

“The exceptional aspect of this project is the ability to capture a wasted resource and utilise it, thereby efficiently making use of this renewable energy asset,” said Michael T. Bakas, Senior Vice President, Ameresco. “Ameresco is honoured to be partnering with the Sub-Regional Operating Group and we’re looking forward to making this project a reality for a community that recognises the tremendous value and importance of environmental stewardship while improving infrastructure and reducing costs.”

The 91st Avenue plant serves the cities of Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe that make up the SROG.

This project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 45 000 tpy, the equivalent of taking over 70 000 cars off the road or planting over 87 000 acres of trees every year.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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