Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Energy Capital Announces Groundbreaking of San Diego Wastewater Treatment Gas Clean-up Project

NEC_logoThe New Energy Capital Cleantech Infrastructure Fund (NECCIF) today held a formal groundbreaking ceremony for the Trident BioFuels Energy gas processing facility at the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant in San Diego County, California. The facility will process biogas received from wastewater treatment digesters, removing contaminants and moisture and creating clean renewable methane which will be injected into a natural gas pipeline system operated by San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

"The biogas clean-up processing facility will be the first in the State of California to inject treated biogas into the utility gas distribution system since the Public Utility Commission authorized the concept in late 2009. This project will pave the way for similar future applications," said Frank Mazanec of BioFuels Energy LLC, the project developer. The raw biogas produced as a bi-product of the wastewater treatment process is currently burned in the atmosphere. The project will eliminate millions of tons of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur oxides to help Southern California meet stringent air quality targets. Furthermore, the clean biogas will replace non-renewable natural gas in the SDG&E system, helping to reduce the region’s dependence on fossil fuels.

"The citizens of San Diego will benefit from this project as we protect our air quality while also generating revenue for the City," said Jerry Sanders Mayor of the City of San Diego. "This is yet more proof that San Diego is leading the charge in the exciting world of clean energy technology."

Initial foundations for the project were set in December 2010, and the project is expected to be operational in October 2011. The designer and general contractor is SCS, Inc. of Long Beach, California, an industry leader in biogas technology and plant construction. The facility will deploy state-of-the-art gas clean-up technology produced by Air Liquide, a world leader in gas processing systems. The project is supported by the sale of pollution control bonds authorized by the California Pollution Control Finance Authority, and will create approximately 15 full-time construction jobs for pipefitters, electrical workers and construction labor. Ken Frisbie of BioFuels Energy noted that: "We are extremely pleased that New Energy Capital has stepped forward to finance this important pollution control project which will represent one of the largest renewable energy projects within the City of San Diego."

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