The City of Escondido and Anaergia have entered into a Power Purchase Agreement which will enable Escondido’s wastewater treatment plant to turn waste biogas into renewable energy.
Each day, the City of Escondido’s Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility (HARRF) treats about fifteen million gallons of wastewater generated by both Escondido and Rancho Bernardo. In addition to producing high quality clean effluent, HARRF generates a potentially valuable byproduct in the form of energy-rich biogas, which is currently flared. On July 8, 2015, the City Council approved a 20-year agreement which will allow Escondido Bioenergy Facility, LLC (A subsidiary of Anaergia) to construct and operate a cogeneration facility that will treat HARRF’s biogas and use it to fuel internal combustion engines that will power generators for electricity production.
Under the terms of the agreement the City has committed to purchase at least 8,146 MWh per year for $0.129 per kWh. This amount represents approximately 75% of the plant’s current electricity use, and is projected to save the City about $10M over the life of the 20 year contract. In addition, all heat from the energy plant will be provided to the treatment plant at no cost. The project will result in significant savings from not only the low and predictable electricity price it offers, but also since the treatment plant currently purchases natural gas from SDGE to heat the plant’s digesters which are maintained at a constant 98 degrees.