Senior Program Manager
Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) are becoming valuable platforms for innovative water and energy technologies. There are a number of key drivers for
end users that are encouraging a more system based approach to water and energy management on WWTP campuses including: drought (and the corresponding
need for greater water reclamation), integration of renewables and storage, energy efficiency and demand response practices to match load with energy
supply, overarching decarbonization strategies, system resiliency and reliability, and higher standards for water quality. Following upon their research
presented at the 2015 EMC West Coast Congress (The Water Energy Nexus-Is it Time for a New Set of Goggles?), the authors will focus more specifically
upon energy/water conservation strategies and distributed generation systems being developed for Wastewater Treatment Plants. Technology deployment
and the underlying strategies and tactical rationale will be explored with an eye towards identifying those WWTP process points which are most critical
in exploiting water/energy nexus opportunities. Examples of technologies to be reviewed will be the bundling of on-site renewables with storage systems
and the underlying rationale including: achieving peak load savings, diversity of power sources, and tax-driven cash flow benefits. A second technology
to be examined will be the use of biogas produced from wastewater processing to drive cogeneration turbines producing power and creating beneficial
heat recovery. Innovations (and regulatory barriers) in water reuse will be explored, identifying safe pathways for water reuse and linked energy savings
that enhance overall system benefits. Finally, trends in biotreatment will be explored, where agents such as algae are used instead of mechanical aeration.
Linked energy savings and the production of fuels resulting from the treatment process will be evaluated as an overarching system enhancement. The
authors will conclude by offering recommendations for technology standards, environmental standards, and policy enhancements that can continue the
evolution of WWTP’s from end use treatment centers to resource centers.
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