Anaergia Commissions Agreement using Renewable Biogas and Fuel Cells

Anaergia Commissions Agreement using Renewable Biogas and Fuel Cells

AD company enters public-private partnership with California-based Inland Empire Utilities Agency.

February 5, 2013
REW Staff

Anaergia Inc., a Burlington, Ont., company involved in generating renewable energy from organic waste, has announced the full commission and operation of what it says is the largest power purchase agreement using a fuel cell system powered by renewable biogas in North America. The agreement between Anaergia and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) relates to operations at the RPS1 water recycling facility (RPS1) in Ontario, Calif.

Anaergia designed, built, financed and owns and operates the 2.8 megawatt renewable energy facility under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with IEUA. The RPS1 Water Recycling Facility, which can treat up to 44 million gallons a day of wastewater, purchases base load power from Anaergia to offset about 60 percent of the grid power previously used by the facility to treat wastewater. This provides a reliable power source at predefined and competitively priced rates that generate long-term cost savings.

In addition to reducing long-term energy costs and contributing to the energy self-sufficiency of the RPS1 Water Recycling Facility, Anaergia’s operations significantly contribute to improving the air quality for residents of Ontario, Calif., and California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District by using one of the most environmentally sustainable options available, the company says.

The biogas created through the anaerobic digestion of wastewater biosolids is cleaned and conditioned prior to sending the biogas to the fuel cell system. The fuel cell system converts the biogas into renewable electricity through an electrochemical process similar to the process used in batteries. Anaergia’s system eliminates the need to combust biogas, which reduces nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide and particulate matter emissions from the installed fuel cell system by 70 percent to 90 percent compared to typical internal combustion engine systems, the company adds.

“IEUA is proud to expand its already successful renewable energy program with the addition of a biogas powered fuel cell system,” says Terry Catlin, president of the IEUA Board. “The fuel cell allows IEUA to move closer to its strategic energy plan goal to go ‘Gridless by 2020’ with almost no capital outlay by the agency. Our plan is to minimize IEUA’s dependency on energy purchased from the grid, and to be able to operate completely off the grid during peak energy usage periods.”

“The RPS1 Fuel Cell Project with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency is a world-class example of how energy self-sufficiency can be achieved by generating renewable and cost effective electricity onsite under a power purchase agreement,” says Steve Watzeck, CEO of Anaergia Inc. “This project will have a lasting and positive impact on the area by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District and providing long-term electricity cost savings to the district. Anaergia is pleased to be a part of Inland Empire Utilities Authority’s renewable energy portfolio and contribute to their goal of energy self-sufficiency by 2020.”

IEUA is a municipal water district located in western San Bernardino County, Calif. The agency’s mission is to supply drinking water, collect and treat wastewater, produce beneficially reusable compost and high quality recycled water to the county’s residents.