Gresham Wastewater Treatment Plant Receives Project of the Year Award!

In the May edition of Peterson's internal newsletter InSIGHT, we ran an article titled, “Gresham Wastewater Plant and Peterson Power Team Up to Achieve Net-Zero Goal.” The Gresham Wastewater Treatment plant, with the help of Peterson Power, embarked on a groundbreaking project to bring their net energy usage to 0 kilowatts.

Through the use of anaerobic digesters that turn wastewater into methane gas by means of a bacterial reaction, the Gresham Wastewater plant began producing its own fuel, which was then fed into two Cat G3508 generators. These generators then provide power back to the plant for further wastewater processing. The combination of this cogeneration system with solar panels also installed on the site provide the Gresham Wastewater Treatment plant with 100% of the power needed to keep the plant open.

What’s even more exciting is the fact that further reductions in the power usage of the plant are providing the opportunity for the Gresham Wastewater Treatment plant to become a power provider themselves! Now, wastewater, which was once a problem that the plant solved on a day to day basis, has become a renewable resource all to its own!

The promising developments in this project have not gone unnoticed. Recently, the Gresham Wastewater plant received a Project of the Year award from the Oregon Public Works Department. This award recognizes the monumental achievement reached by the Gresham Wastewater Treatment Plant in reaching net zero energy usage. A quote from the American Public Works Association Oregon Chapter reads as follows:

As the Pacific Northwest’s first energy net zero Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and one of only a handful in the U.S., the Gresham WWTP is getting national and international attention. As such, it is helping to promote the use of this reproducible technology. It is estimated that only eight percent of WWTPs in the United States with anaerobic digestion generate electricity or hot water as a renewable energy resource. According to the U.S. EPA up to 400 MW of additional renewable electrical power could be generated with the installation of cogen units (or other combined heat and power systems) at facilities where it is currently feasible. 400 MW of biogas-based renewable energy would prevent approximately three million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to the emissions of approximately 596,000 passenger vehicles (U.S. EPA Combined Heat and Power Partnership, 2011).

While the success of this project was due to the efforts of many partners, Peterson Power played a pivotal role in the installation and setup of the two Cat G3508 cogenerators that provide 800 kilowatts of renewable power. These units are the heart of the Gresham Wastewater Treatment Plant’s renewable energy project, and their successful operation is a fitting example of the hard work put in by the Peterson Power team to provide reliable power in some of the world’s most challenging circumstances!

Download the complete nomination form.