Energy Independence Project – Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies

State of Oregon

The Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies (ACWA), with funding from the Energy Trust of Oregon, commissioned a groundbreaking study to show how Oregon wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) can become energy independent by eliminating the need to purchase any electricity to run their operations.

The study, conducted by Kennedy/Jenks, shows utilities how to reach this ambitious goal by optimizing energy efficiency measures and using renewable resources at their facilities. Kennedy/Jenks reviewed options to increase energy efficiency at two demonstration plants, conducted a wide-ranging review of renewable technologies, and encapsulated the information in to a systematic approach that WWTPs can use to analyze, evaluate, and select the best measures to attain energy independence.

The study included assessments of seven potential renewable resources including fuel cells, internal combustion engines, micro-hydro turbines, microturbines, small wind, solar photovoltaics, and FOG/green waste. The study examined the state of the technology, available vendors, size and power production ranges, potential funding sources, cost, political and community impacts, greenhouse gas impacts, and operational impacts of each potential renewable resource.