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Monday, November 16, 2009

Wastewater treatment plant an energy-saving success

From an article by Cara Spoto in the Stevens Point Journal:

Efforts to reduce the amount of energy at its new wastewater treatment facility have paid off for the village of Whiting.

A representative from Focus on Energy -- Wisconsin's statewide energy efficiency program -- was at the plant Friday to hand village officials a $34,000 check to help it pay for some of the many energy-efficient components that make up the $4.8 million plant.

Touring the facility with Joe Cantwell, Focus on Energy's industrial energy adviser, and Mike Resch, an account executive with Wisconsin Public Service, Whiting Utilities manager Matt Saloun and Kim Hoppenrath, chairman of the village's utilities committee, rattled off a list of energy-saving elements that went into the design and construction of the facility.

Some of the major elements include solar panels that heat the building and generate power, skylights, solar thermal heating, carbon dioxide monitoring and several variable frequency drive, or VFD, motors, used in nearly all elements of the wastewater reclamation process. The facility even has a white roof, which reflects sunlight, reducing cooling costs.
"These are our blowers over here. They provide aeration for our aerobic digesters. The VFDs are much more energy-efficient, compared to our old ones that just wailed away," Saloun explained.

Because of all the energy efficiencies, the plant should consume about one-fifth of the energy consumed by similar-sized wastewater treatment plants, Saloun said.

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