By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The Victor Valley Water Reclamation Authority is being recognized for its innovative approach to converting waste to energy through its Biogas to Energy Project. The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has announced that VVWRA has been selected to receive a 2015 National Environmental Achievement Award in the Operations & Environmental Performance category.
The Biogas to Energy Project, which includes the Omnivore program, is the first of its kind in North America and is part of a unique partnership between VVWRA and Anaergia LLC. Omnivore uses a special process to thicken sludge and increase the capacity of co-digestion inside a newly, retrofitted anaerobic digester. That in turn dramatically increases the production of bio-gas or methane. The resulting bio-gas is captured and will be used to generate electricity to power nearly 100 percent of plant operations. Omnivore has been successfully tested and should be fully functional in early 2015.
“We are honored to be recognized by NACWA”, said VVWRA General Manager Logan Olds. “The Omnivore is unprecedented technology that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while virtually eliminating electricity and natural gas related expenses that VVWRA would normally have to pass along to the community.” The cost savings for VVWRA translates into savings for local businesses and residents which in turn gives the region an economic advantage.
The Omnivore Project was funded entirely by Anaergia LLC and an Innovative Technology Grant from the California Energy Commission. Olds said, “The partnership between VVWRA and Anaergia LLC is an example that can be followed by other utilities and have a positive impact on rates for their customers.”
NACWA presents the National Environmental Achievement Awards annually to recognize outstanding contributions to environmental protection and the clean water community. The award will officially be presented to VVWRA at an awards ceremony on February 2 in Charleston, South Carolina.