Anaergia to Build Anaerobic Digestion Facility at Monterey One Water

by | Jun 6, 2023

Credit: Anaergia

Renewable energy provider Anaergia and Monterey One Water are partnering on an anaerobic digestion project that aims to generate energy from food waste and wastewater in northern California. With support from CalRecycle, this initiative hopes to help make future operations of wastewater utilities more efficient.

The project entails a significant expansion of anaerobic digestion capacity at Monterey One Water’s regional treatment plant in Marina, California. Additionally, organic waste receiving and pre-processing equipment will be provided, enabling the utility to co-digest food waste in the existing digesters used for wastewater biosolids. The anaerobic digestion process will convert this waste into renewable biogas, which will be utilized to generate electricity and heat at the Monterey One plant.

Anaergia digestion technology will be employed to process food waste with biosolids efficiently. This technology not only enhances performance but also contributes to energy savings. Moreover, the project includes a significant expansion of digester capacity, providing Monterey One, which is the wastewater utility of northern Monterey County, California, with operational flexibility.

Anaerobic Digestion Becomes Clean Energy

By increasing biogas production from the plant’s four digesters by more than 150%, the project aims to generate up to 1.6 megawatts of renewable electricity through on-site combined heat and power engines. This increased energy production will surpass the plant’s power needs, resulting in reduced operating costs, increased revenue generation, and enhanced resiliency and reliability. 

To that extent, the expansion in onsite energy generation from the project will be an asset to the development of a joint microgrid that will be shared with regional solid waste utility ReGen, Monterey One Water said.

The upgraded anaerobic digestion technologies and waste-receiving equipment will assist the region’s solid waste industry in complying with California’s SB1383 legislation. This legislation aims to reduce methane emissions, a significant contributor to global warming, by diverting food waste from landfills. CalRecycle, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, will provide $4.2 million in grant funds to assist with this project. 

“By upgrading its infrastructure to enable co-digestion of food waste along with its wastewater, Monterey One Water will now not only recycle water, it will also recycle organic waste that would have otherwise created methane emissions in landfills,” said Anageria CEO Andrew Benedek.

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