Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SAWS, Ameresco open first-of-kind biogas facility, pipeline

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and Ameresco have opened their new biogas facility at the Dos Rios Water Recycling Center.

The biogas project is the first sustainable project of its kind in the nation, capturing biogas generated during the sewage treatment process and selling it through a commercial gas pipeline.

Methane gas is generated by biosolids during the sewage treatment process.

Previously, SAWS burned off the gas using flares. With a new 20-year partnership, Ameresco will treat and transfer at least 900,000 cubic feet of gas to a nearby commercial gas pipeline, where they will sell it on the open market. In return, SAWS ratepayers will receive a royalty on the sale of the gas, estimated at $200,000 a year, reducing the cost of SAWS operations and keeping rates affordable.

SAWS is the first large wastewater utility to partner with a private sector company, Ameresco, to actively sell biogas in the United States.

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