Wastewater plant’s project to produce more energy near end

Work on a cogeneration system at the city’s wastewater treatment plant will be finished this fall, wrapping up a year-long undertaking to reduce energy costs and environmentally damaging emissions.

The new cogeneration/grease receiving system, a joint undertaking between the city and Chevron Energy Solutions, will create and use methane biofuel — gas produced from restaurant grease — that will increase the amount of green power generated at the plant by approximately 40 percent, Public Works Director Ron Popp said.

Construction started in the fall, after officials identified the equipment that, at between 20 and 50 years old, has outlived its usefulness.

The plant had a small internal combustion generator — which is approximately 50 years old — fueled by methane from the plant’s digesters. But the city found that it could significantly reduce costs by using this naturally produced methane to make the electricity and heat needed to power the plant itself.

The project should be finished in October or November.

Estimated cost for the project is $5.5 million, generated from Certificates of Participation, sanitation and enterprise funds and a $200,000 grant from PG&E.

City officials expect that the high price tag will also be offset by the expected $112,000 in annual energy savings from this new method, Popp said. The city also plans on charging 12 cents per gallon for restaurants to dump their kitchen grease, which is expected to be another source of valuable revenue.

Meanwhile, a $32 million project to remodel the whole plant is getting under way. The city plans on opening the bids for the project next spring.

Community Development Director Ralph Petty said a number of funding sources contributing to the Millbrae Station Area development impact fees will make up a significant amount of funding for the project.

The remodeling project will also be funded by redevelopment agency funds and, officials hope, a low-interest loan from the state that could save the city between $1.5 million and $7 million over the life of the loan, Popp said.

tramroop@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Newsom wants $4.2 billion to finish the Central Valley link for the bullet train, but legislators aren’t sold. (Illustration by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters; iStock; CA High Speed Rail Authority; Shae Hammond for CalMatters)
Bullet train budget battle: Should California spend more on urban transit, not high-speed rail?

By Marissa Garcia CalMatters High-speed rail was supposed to connect California’s urban… Continue reading

Cooks work in the kitchen at The Vault Garden. (Courtesy Hardy Wilson)
Help wanted: SF restaurants are struggling to staff up

Some small businesses have to ‘sweeten the pot’ when hiring workers

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at Ruby Bridges Elementary School in Alameda during a March 2021 press conference. (Credit Ed Reed/EdSource)
How California plans to deter costly special education disputes

Fund is meant to help parents and schools settle differences before heading to court

Hundreds of Britney Spears fans and supporters rallied in support of ending her 13-years-long conservatorship and the removal of her father, Jamie Spears, as her conservator, at the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse on July 14, 2021. (Photo by Ted Soqui, SIPA USA via AP Images)
The Britney effect: How California is grappling with conservatorship

By Jocelyn Wiener CalMatters However improbable, this has become the summer we… Continue reading

District Attorney Chesa Boudin is launching an investigation into whether Chinatown merchants have been targeted as victims of possibly illegitimate lawsuits. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)
DA launches investigation of potential fraud targeting Chinatown merchants

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday it is launching an… Continue reading

Most Read