The EPA, California Energy Commission and other industry and political leaders unveiled the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority’s carbon-neutral treatment plant on Friday.
The southern California facility houses the Omnivore biogas renewable energy project, which uses first-of-its-kind technology to produce 100 percent renewable power by treating both sewage and organic waste, like food, that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills.
The treatment plant will offset 9 million kWh from the grid annually and prevent more than 1,400 tons of waste from entering landfills. The facility will be 100 percent energy neutral by the start of 2015 and could potentially save the taxpayer $9 million over 20 years.
The project was developed through a $2 million grant from the California Energy Commission, $600,000 in funding from Anaergia and technical assistance by the EPA.
The US has the greatest untapped potential for biogas growth, according to a report published earlier this year that said Europe dominates the global market. In the US, there are more than 160 anaerobic digesters on farms and about 1,500 more operating at wastewater treatment plants.