Ameresco and the City of Dallas Unveil Innovative Wastewater Biogas-to-Energy Facility
Tour today showcases new facility that generates electricity to power water utility operations, saving the City of Dallas $1.5 million annually
Framingham, MA and Dallas, TX – April 19, 2011 – Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC), a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, and City of Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) announced today the completion of an innovative biogas energy recovery facility. During a tour of the facility earlier today, Ameresco executives commemorated the 4.3 megawatt (MW) biogas capture and refining facility with DWU administrators and other local business and political leaders. The new wastewater biogas plant, which will generate electricity and thermal load to power DWU’s facilities, is expected to save the City at least $1.5 million annually and offset approximately 60 percent of the electricity that the DWU currently pulls from the grid.
“We are happy to be working with the City of Dallas on this important project,” said Michael T. Bakas, Senior Vice President, Ameresco. “The exceptional aspect of this project is the ability to capture waste heat and utilize it, thereby efficiently making use of this renewable resource. This approach allows to us utilize about 80 percent of the biogas resource, since we can reuse the waste heat, while a typical electrical production plant might only be able to use 35 percent of its energy product.”
DWU is a not-for-profit department of the City of Dallas providing water and wastewater services to about 2.5 million people in Dallas and 27 nearby communities. Wastewater is the used water that goes down the drain in homes and businesses. Currently, the DWU facility can treat up to 110 million gallons of wastewater per day. Traditionally, excess gas at a wastewater facility is burned off by flares. Ameresco invested the capital necessary to treat and deliver up to 1,200 standard cubic feet per minute of biogas to power the plant, and the City plans to incorporate future production increases.
Ameresco was chosen to design, build and operate the plant, which is designed with a capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent of over 3,500 passenger vehicles a year of carbon dioxide emissions or the electricity use equivalent of over 2,500 homes for one year.
DWU is one of the first wastewater utilities in the United States to recycle biogas energy. The first sewage facility in the United States to refine biogas for the grid went online in September 2010, when the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and Ameresco opened a new biogas facility at the Dos Rios Water Recycling Center. This methane capture technology is commonly constructed at landfills across the country, but there is growing interest among municipal leaders looking to increase energy savings.
About Ameresco, Inc.
Ameresco, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in April 2000 and is a leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America. Ameresco’s solutions include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure, and the development, construction, and operation of renewable energy plants. With corporate headquarters located in Framingham, MA, Ameresco has 56 offices in 29 states and five Canadian provinces. For more information, visit www.ameresco.com.