Energy Systems Group awarded $45 million contract for Virginia codigestion facility

Methane from food processing waste and municipal sludge to be converted to electricity.

May 15, 2014
REW Staff

Energy Systems Group (ESG), Newburgh, Indiana, an energy services provider and subsidiary of Vectren Corp. has announced it was awarded a $45 million contract with the Frederick-Winchester Service Authority (FWSA) for the design and construction of energy efficiency and infrastructure improvements at the Opequon Water Reclamation Facility in Winchester, Virginia. These developments signify ESG’s strategic focus on strengthening its position as a leader in both the federal and sustainable infrastructure sectors.

The centerpiece of the FWSA project is the construction of a Green Energy Facility, which will process municipal sludge and high-strength organic waste, from food processors in the Shenandoah Valley, to produce methane gas, a renewable fuel, through the process of anaerobic codigestion. This methane gas will be utilized to generate up to 825 kilowatts (kw) of electricity that, at start–up, will meet more than 50 percent of the treatment plant’s electrical needs.

This facility also includes a new sludge dewatering process that reduces the use of chemicals and decreases the amount of waste hauled to the county landfill. The Green Energy Facility will harvest phosphorus from the wastewater stream, a rare element that is an essential ingredient for fertilizer and crop production. The project also includes construction of a new food waste receiving station, and other facility improvements such as emergency electrical generation, turbo blowers and fine bubble diffusers for process treatment aeration, and lighting and mechanical system improvements.

“This project is a great example of government striving for operational efficiency and advancing sustainable infrastructure solutions to achieve positive economic development and benefits to taxpayers,” says Greg Collins, president. “We look forward to working with the FWSA in constructing potentially one of the nation’s largest energy performance contracts at a single wastewater treatment facility.”

Design and construction of the FWSA project will commenced April 2014, and the facility is expected to come online in 2016.