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Energy Management: from Concept to Reality

“Energy Management: The Concept” by Steve Tarallo (Black & Veatch) - Energy conservation, on-site energy generation, and renewable energy are becoming increasingly important to wastewater utilities as energy policy, energy economics, and actions to mitigate climate change converge with the need to meet higher standards of wastewater treatment.  The current economic recession has placed additional financial burdens on wastewater utilities as they strive to meet increasingly stringent discharge permit requirements with aging infrastructure in need of repair or replacement.  Since energy consumption is typically the second or third largest item in a wastewater utility’s operations and maintenance budget, has been trending steeply upwards in both quantity and unit cost, and is a cost item that utilities can control through practical approaches and proven technologies, many utilities are beginning to implement a variety of measures to reduce energy consumption at their facilities and/or hedge against rising energy prices.  An additional benefit of energy conservation measures is their positive impact on the environment, primarily through reduced air emissions and conservation of non-renewable resources.   This presentation provides an overview of energy management at wastewater utilities by discussing the tools, techniques, and technologies available to plan and implement measures to reduce energy demand/consumption and increase energy production/supply.  The presentation begins with several principles of energy management, including benchmarking, auditing, and continuous improvement, and proceeds to discuss the economic and environmental benefits afforded by the more commonly implemented energy conservation measures.

 

“Energy Management: The Reality at Philadelphia Water Department” by Paul Kohl (Philadelphia Water Department) - The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is the water, wastewater and stormwater utility providing service within the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and on a wholesale basis to some neighboring communities. PWD employs in excess of 2,000 people and requires in excess of $300,000,000 to operate and maintain its varied and widespread facilities.  PWD’s procurement cost for energy including electric, natural gas and fleet fuels exceeds $20,000,000 per year. Approximately 90% of this cost is for purchased electrical energy. The rates that electric utilities can charge for generation of electricity have been capped on the eastern side of Pennsylvania since the mid 1990s. These rate caps are scheduled to be lifted in January 2011 and rates are anticipated to rise. This will have the dual effect of increasing costs, but also impacting the economics of traditionally more expensive renewable energy alternatives.  The City of Philadelphia recently developed and initiated implementation of a comprehensive sustainability initiative.  Greenworks Philadelphia is a multi-faceted plan focused on the future environmental, social and economic well-being of the City.  This plan establishes city-wide goals for the general population and the city government.  Driven by economic realities to control cost and guided by civic leaders’ development of aggressive sustainability goals, the PWD initiated development of a strategic energy plan to establish a validated program of operational and capital energy conservation and generation initiatives.  This presentation discusses the development of a utility-wide strategic energy plan at PWD, with a focus on the strategic objectives and organizational structure PWD initiated to see it through.  The presentation provides technical, financial, and regulatory/legal background and lessons-learned on several energy demand-side and supply-side measures currently being implemented or planned at PWD, including participation in a mandatory demand response program, facility load control, energy procurement through a licensed service provider, cogeneration through lease financing, and solar power through a power purchase agreement.

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