||Massachusetts announced the first phase of an innovative pilot program, targeting 14 wastewater and drinking water treatment plants across the state that will reduce the amount of energy that municipal facilities currently use to treat wastewater and drinking water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save communities money. In Massachusetts, approximately 30 percent of municipal energy use comes from water treatment. Statewide, cities and towns spend approximately $150 million per year for electricity in the course of treating 662 billion gallons of wastewater and drinking water.
The "Energy Management Pilot for Wastewater and Drinking Water Plants" brings together state and federal agencies and electric and gas utilities to conduct facility energy audits, assess each plant for its renewable and clean energy possibilities, and offer support for the implementation of these energy-related projects.
Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will take the lead among public and utility partners that will work in concert to audit energy use at municipal wastewater and drinking water facilities; assess the potential for developing clean, renewable energy at these facilities; and provide financial support for implementation of energy upgrades. Partners in this project include the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources (DOER), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 1-New England, NStar, National Grid/KeySpan, Bay State Gas, Cape Light Compact, Western Massachusetts Electric, Unitil, Berkshire Gas, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), the University of Massachusetts-Amherst's Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the Consortium on Energy Efficiency.
The pilot program was announced in December 2007 at the Long Pond Water Treatment Facility in Falmouth, which is a model plant that is effectively integrating energy efficiency and renewable sources into their drinking water and wastewater operations. If energy use in municipal water treatment were reduced by 20 percent across the board, emissions from power generation would be reduced by approximately 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide; 760,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide; and 250,000 pounds of nitrous oxides.
The cost of implementing the pilot program is estimated at $326,000, with the funding coming from the utilities' energy efficiency incentive programs, the DOER Energy Conservation Improvement Program, the existing MTC Renewable Energy Trust grant and financial assistance programs, the State Revolving Fund two percent loan program, and other sources.