The Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority has received an energy saving incentive check of $121,919.84 from Southern California Edison for its aeration energy efficiency upgrades. The check was presented by SCE representative Amy Olson to the VVWRA Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting on Thursday, February 18th.
The aeration energy efficiency upgrades will save VVWRA about 1,336,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. That is the equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power 122 homes annually. “These upgrades allow us to save energy while improving our wastewater treatment process”, said VVWRA Director of Operations Gilbert Perez.
The aeration energy efficiency upgrades at VVWRA consisted of a new electric powered, 400 hp Piller turbo blower and new Aquarius, fine bubble diffusers installed in aeration basins 1 through 8. The Piller blower replaces three blowers that were powered by internal combustion engines. The Aquarius fine bubble diffusers have much better oxygen transfer efficiency than the previous diffusers and thus require less energy.
A crucial part of VVWRA’s treatment involves blowing oxygen into the wastewater held in large aeration basins in a process called “activated sludge”. The oxygen stimulates microorganisms that help break down the organic matter. It also is one of the most energy intensive processes at the VVWRA treatment plant.
“VVWRA continues to take steps to reduce its power consumption, while increasing electricity production through its Waste to Energy Program”, said VVWRA General Manager Logan Olds. “This is another big step on our path to energy neutrality.” VVWRA’s Waste to Energy Program involves collecting naturally occurring methane from the anaerobic digesters and using the bio-gas to power a pair of large 2G 800 kwh generators, which in turn provide electricity to run the plant.