Natural Gas from Wastewater Injected into NY City Gas Grid

September 29, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

national grid energy manageNational Grid is beginning the design and construction phase of a purification system to convert biogas from the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in New York City into renewable natural gas for residential and commercial use.

Ultimately, the project will directly inject renewable gas from an existing waste stream into the local gas distribution system.

It takes a lot of energy to collect and treat the more than one billion gallons of wastewater produced in New York City every day, but through the partnership with National Grid, a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process will provide an energy supply. Biogas, which is mostly methane, is a by-product of the wastewater treatment process. Methane is also the main component of natural gas. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection currently reuses about 40 percent of the biogas produced at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The partnership with National Grid will ensure that 100 percent of the biogas goes to reuse.

Construction of the purification system will begin next summer and is expected to be complete by fall 2016.

In other National Grid news, the utility asked regulators in Massachusetts for a 37 percent rate hike for the six months beginning November 1 because it says last winter’s demand for natural gas exceeded pipeline capacity, causing wholesale prices to spike.

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