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Sewer plant can generate own power

Effort part of $10.3 million upgrade

November 18, 2010
By MICHAEL ANICH, The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility has the ability to generate all of its own power at the site.

Plant Manager George Bevington told the sewer board last week the plant, which has been testing its energy self-sufficiency, generated all of its own power Nov. 7.

The effort is part of the facility's $10.3 million upgrade.

The upgrade includes construction of a dissolved air flotation facility, or DAF building, and installation of a 200,000-gallon whey storage tank, two 350-kilowatt generators, a third belt press and a digester thickener. There will be a combined heat and power program at the sewer plant. The process will allow renewable clean power to generate enough electricity on the site to meet all its power needs.

Bevington said his facility's "all-time record" for energy self-suffiency was just over 40 percent before the 100 percent recording Nov. 7. He said he was encouraged by the in-house electricity for the blower - "the largest energy user we have."

He said he and Fiscal Manager Donna Renda will meet soon with officials from National Grid to alter the plant's power bills, which will be less.

The sewage treatment plant upgrade is winding down, and Bevington said testing will begin at the new DAV building, where a system will be implemented to treat wastewater by removing suspended solids from the water.

He said concrete was poured for the chemical loading area, but some other work needs to be done such as pipe installation at the DAV building.

"We're now looking at a test run," Bevington said. "I think we're talking about Dec. 1."

Money for the upgrade project includes a grant from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. of $6 million. The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the plant $2.2 million, and the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority contributed $1.4 million.

As part of the NYSERDA money, Bevington said his facility billed for $375,000 from a $400,000 innovative grant. He said NYSERDA is ready to "cut the check."

He also reported the facility is seeking a $115,000 capital capacity payment as part of the larger $1 million grant from NYSERDA.

"Most of the grant money has been flowing fairly regularly for this project," Bevington said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at



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