A sewage authority in New Jersey will use electricity from a nearby power plant in exchange for treated wastewater that will be used to cool the generation plant, allowing the wastewater plant to operate independently of the regional power grid.
The Camden County Municipal Utiliites Authority (CCMUA) and Covanta Camden Energy Recovery Center are forming what is being termed a “sustainability loop” is part of a multi-year project to reduce energy costs and to convert its Delaware River waterfront facility to renewable energy.
According to govtech.com, the Camden project was among 13 “microgrid” projects that received funding for feasibility studies in June from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. CCMUA received $150,000 of more than $2 million distributed for the projects.
“This project will not only help the environment and get the CCMUA off the grid, but it will also save about $600,000 in annual electricity costs,” Camden County Freeholder Jeff Nash told govtech.com.
Camden County, located in the southwestern part of the state, treats 58 million gallons of sewage daily at their plant for a population of about half a million, the CCMUA website says. The deal with Covanta is part of a larger plan to get the sewage treatment facility off the power grid. In addition to solar panels that have already been installed, the county plans to add $30 million biogas digesters, the Courier-Post reported.
A feasibility study for construction of the underground lines needed to deliver wastewater and power is set to be completed next year, the Inquirer reported. The community microgrid project received $150,000 in feasibility study funding from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in June. Kricun said publicly that he expects the new lines between the plants to go online in 2019.