Wastewater plant to save millions with sustainability project

Sept. 17, 2015

The reduction in utility power will help the city reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 2,835 tons.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Sept. 14, 2015 — The city’s wastewater treatment plant will reduce energy costs by $2.2 million over the next 15 years through an energy efficient program with OpTerra Energy Services, according to a press release.

Begun in 2013, the plant recently completed the first phase of the program, stated the release. The initiative is aligned with the city’s vision for sustainability.

The facility worked with OpTerra to implement several upgrades to achieve the savings, noted the release. The project focused on improving air controls and HVAC efficiency, but the two organizations also determined other energy efficiency opportunities to meet the city’s sustainability goals.

The wastewater treatment plant project marks the first effort by a city facility to utilize a performance contract concentrated on "measuring sustainability outcomes tied to economic, environmental, and social impacts tied to building performance." The plant will contribute to city goals of reducing carbon emissions by 10,000 metric tons and increasing energy efficiency and conservation at city facilities by 10 percent.

The program includes energy efficient improvements heating and cooling of the administrative building, boiler replacement and controls for multiple buildings, reported the release. The reduction in utility power will help the city reduce its CO2 emissions by 2,835 tons.

“It has been a great experience partnering with the City of Grand Rapids to help achieve their sustainability goals across facilities, starting with the Waste Water Treatment site,” said John Mahoney, CEO of OpTerra Energy Services, in the release. “Grand Rapids is setting the bar for other municipalities across the country to show how energy efficiency improvements can jumpstart a long-term sustainability plan with multiple benefits to the environment, the economy, and the local community.”

A biosolids application project may be constructed on the plant site in 2016, shared the release.

You can find the entire release here.

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