Maximizing the Benefit From Renewable and Non-Renewable On-Site Power Generation Systems


  • B. Lisk - Hazen and Sawyer
  • R. Harris - Water Resources, Gwinnett County, GA
  • S. J. Brown - Water Resources Department, Town of Cary
  • D. White - Environmental Services, Jefferson County

The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the multiple ways water and wastewater utilities can enhance the benefit from their on-site power generation sources and describe how the green energy markets/regulations, emission regulations, and electric utility programs can contribute to the benefit and risks from these systems. This information presented in this paper will provide the basic framework needed to enable water and wastewater utilities to explore opportunities to increase the benefit from existing on-site power generation systems or explore the feasibility of future systems.

Specifically, this paper will present:
• An overview of common renewable and non-renewable onsite power generation systems used in the water and wastewater industry and how they can be used to generate revenue for the owner.

• Description of the green energy markets and how they can contribute to the revenue generated from on-site renewable energy generation systems (i.e. biogas, solar, wind) and the associated risks. This description will include how renewable energy credits (RECs) are generated and the historical market demand for RECs.

• A description of the state and federal laws, regulations and green energy markets that can impact the benefits and risks of renewable and non-renewable on-site power generation systems. These include federal and state renewable energy portfolio standards, renewable energy trading markets, EPA emission regulations, Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), and net metering laws.

• Long term energy outlooks that can have a significant impact on the economic feasibility of renewable and non-renewable on-site power generation systems.

• Historical and projected pricing trends in the Green Power Markets and how these trends will impact the feasibility of on-site renewable energy systems.

• Overview of common public private partnerships with electric utilities and other private entities used to enhance the benefits of onsite renewable power generation systems.

• Case studies showing how water and wastewater used renewable and non-renewable onsite power generation systems to generate revenue beyond offsetting purchased power. The following case studies will be presented as a minimum:
1) Case studies showing how water and wastewater utilities generated revenue by using on-site standby power generators to participate in electric utility generator capacity credit programs, demand response programs, and coincident peak programs.
2) Case studies that illustrate how utility billing rates can have both positive and negative impacts on the revenue generated from renewable and non-renewable on-site power generation systems.
3) Case studies that demonstrate how public/private Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) can enhance the revenue stream from renewable power generation systems and the associated risks.

For more information, please contact the author at

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Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.

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