Wastewater Agency Takes Step Towards Energy Independence

By Staff Reports

(Hesperia) – With a unanimous vote of the agency’s Board of Commissioners, the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (VVWRA) entered into a partnership to become energy independent, ultimately saving taxpayers an estimated $9 million over the course of the project.

The culmination of five years of effort from VVWRA’s General Manager Logan Olds, the project is slated to complete construction in January, 2014. Resource Recovery Company Anaergia will make improvements to VVWRA’s existing, unutilized infrastructure at no additional cost to the agency. The retrofits will allow the facility to accept organic waste and use the natural treatment process to create gas that can be reused to generate enough power to operate the plant.

“We’re very fortunate to have the ability to turn that waste into energy and reduce the costs to our ratepayers long into the future,” said VVWRA Commissioner and Apple Valley Town Councilman Scott Nassif. “It’s an exciting project for the agency.”

By charging companies to drop off their organic waste, and by selling excess energy back to the grid, the project will also open up new potential revenue streams for the agency, further offsetting costs bared by ratepayers.

“I think this is a very important move as the Edison rates will be going up for all, and we’ll be able to stabilize our rates for a 15-year period, which should make our ratepayers very happy,” added VVWRA Commissioner and Hesperia City Councilman Russ Blewett.

The project will serve as a benchmark in the industry, proving that energy independence is feasible at a medium-sized plant such as VVWRA. “A lot of eyes will be watching VVWRA once this projects becomes active, and we can’t wait to show them how successful this technology will be,” said Logan Olds, VVWRA’s General Manager.

“We are very proud to be selected by VVWRA as their trusted partner to demonstrate to the world a cost effective way to make wastewater treatment plants energy self-sufficient with innovative technical solutions. VVWRA is a visionary agency which serves as a sustainability role model for the industry,” said Steve Watzeck, Anaergia’s CEO.

The Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority is an independent agency that is equally governed by leaders from its member agencies, which include Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, Oro Grande and Spring Valley Lake.

Anaergia Inc., founded by Andrew Benedek, the former CEO and founder of Zenon, is a global leader in offering sustainable solutions for the generation of renewable energy and the conversion of waste to resources. Through its subsidiaries, Anaergia is trusted at more than 1,600 operational renewable energy projects globally. Anaergia operates out of 14 offices globally across North America, Europe and Asia.

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