Houston Will Be Home to Largest Microgrid in the Country that Supports a Water Pumping Plant

(Credit: Northeast Water Purification Plant Expansion)

by | Aug 19, 2020

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(Credit: Northeast Water Purification Plant Expansion)

The City of Houston will provide electrical resiliency services to its Northeast Water Purification Plant (NEWPP) Expansion facility with a natural gas-fueled resiliency microgrid. The solution will provide facility backup for 100% of the required finished water production capacity during outages.

The solution also enables the city to fully comply with the regulatory requirements specified by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for water treatment facilities and provide greater operational reliability during maintenance and grid outage periods. The new facility, which will service fast-growing Harris and Fort Bend counties, is scheduled for completion in Spring 2022.

“The NEWPP project will add 320 million gallons per day by 2024 to the existing water plant’s capacity,” said Ravi Kaleyatodi, P.E., Project Director, NEWPP Expansion Project, at City of Houston. The city selected Enchanted Rock, a Texas-based distributed energy company, for this project.

“Wood Mackenzie reviewed 3,389 planned and operational microgrid projects that we track in the United States, and we determined this project will be the largest microgrid in the country supporting a water pumping plant when it comes online in 2022,” said Isaac Maze-Rothstein, Research Analyst at Wood Mackenzie.

This move by the City of Houston is reminiscent of recent news by a California community. In March, McKinleyville Community Services District in California announced it will build an integrated microgrid at the community’s Hiller Park wastewater treatment plant. The microgrid will incorporate existing diesel generation along with new solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage assets to optimize electrical grid resiliency while delivering both financial and environmental benefits to the community.

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