Anaergia has announced that its solutions that turn waste into renewable energy have been integrated in a new wastewater treatment plant in Highland, California. The new facility, owned and operated by East Valley Water District, is known as the Sterling Natural Resources Center (SNRC).
Unlike any other plant in the world, the SNRC will not only recycle water to replenish local groundwater, it will also convert both wastewater solids and food waste into renewable energy and organic fertiliser, and serve as a community centre for education and local events. All wastewater and food waste entering the plant will be converted into resources, and the facility will supply electricity to the grid in excess of its needs. Most wastewater plants, by contrast, require significant energy to run and produce waste that must be disposed of in landfills.
The SNRC will use Anaergia’s advanced anaerobic digestion technology to convert up to 130,000 gallons per day of food waste, along with its sewage biosolids, into biogas. The biogas will then be used to generate three megawatts of renewable electricity, enough to meet all of the facility’s energy needs and still add renewable power to the electric grid. In addition, the plant will use membrane technology made by Anaergia’s affiliated company Fibracast to recycle up to eight million gallons of wastewater per day. Residues left over after energy is produced will be converted to valuable biochar, a natural fertiliser that will be sold and used to enrich farmland soil.
“Thanks to the leadership of East Valley Water District, the SNRC will make two paradigm shifts on how humanity builds wastewater facilities in the future,” said Andrew Benedek, chairman and CEO of Anaergia. “The first paradigm shift is to make every wastewater plant maximise its resource recovery, reducing impacts to the environment. The second paradigm shift is to make such plants a social benefit and not a smelly eyesore. In years to come, I predict that this will serve as a catalyst for positive change and the community will greatly benefit from its park-like setting, its community center, and the vocational training programs associated with the SNRC.”
“East Valley Water District’s vision for the SNRC was to make every source a resource — Anaergia helped provide a solution for a resource recovery center,” said John Mura, general manager and CEO of East Valley Water District, which built and will operate the plant. “The team brought everything together to create value from the wastewater—design, engineering, patented technologies — as well a shared passion to create a facility that will benefit the community for years to come.”