Rialto, Calif., proceeds - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Microgrids  -  March 17, 2021

Rialto, Calif., proceeds with RE-powered microgrid for wastewater plant

The City of Rialto, Calif., announced March 17 the next phase of a plan to design and install a microgrid powered by biogas cogeneration, solar power and backup battery storage to power the city's wastewater treatment plant.

The project will be executed in partnership with Rialto Water Services and Veolia North America. The project should bring the city closer to energy independence, resilience and efficiency in its wastewater treatment system.

The microgrid is expected to cost the city approximately $8 million once completed in 2024, funded by a concession arrangement under which the wastewater plant is operated. Once operational, the microgrid project is expected to save the city approximately $350,000 per year in energy costs.

“As California and the rest of the country contend with a growing number of natural disasters linked to climate change -- including widespread power outages and brownouts caused by heat waves and wildfires -- the resilience offered by a microgrid power source is more important than ever,” Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson said in a statement. “We recognize that the time has come to invest and think boldly and creatively in protecting our resources,” she said. “This project represents a great step forward in the way municipalities like ours can take positive steps toward a more green future.”

The project is also expected to help in protecting natural resources in the area, as the new microgrid will make the plant less vulnerable to power outage that would cause the plant to shut down and lead to potential wastewater spills into nearby waterways.

The first stage of the project was a feasibility study; the second stage that can progress after the announcement today will allow for the design of the microgrid to move forward.

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