City of Escondido Invests in Clean Energy Generation with SGIP Incentive

Chuck Colgan's picture

Residents of Escondido, Calif., in northern San Diego County, will benefit financially and environmentally from a public works project at the city’s wastewater treatment plant that is now turning waste biogas into renewable energy.

Each day, the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility treats about 18 million gallons of wastewater generated by both Escondido and the Rancho Bernardo area of the City of San Diego, turning it into clean water discharged offshore. The operation produces a significant amount of energy-rich biogas as a byproduct that was previously flared off but is now processed and used to power approximately 75 percent of the facility’s electricity use.

The new Escondido Bioenergy Facility, owned by Anaergia Inc., is a combined heat and power system that treats the waste biogas and uses it to fuel internal combustion engines that generate renewable electricity and heat for wastewater treatment operations. Anaergia and the city have entered into a power purchase agreement so that the electricity and heat are sold to the city at below market rates. The facility is projected to save the city about $10 million over the life of the 20-year contract and will greatly reduce the treatment plant's air pollution emissions.

SGIP supporting project

The Escondido Bioenergy Facility is recouping roughly $1,316,400 of the system’s cost through a rebate from the California Self-Generation Incentive Program administered by CSE in the San Diego Gas & Electric service territory. CSE presented a $658,200 check to Anaergia on November 7, representing half of the total rebate, with the remainder to be paid annually over five years based on the system’s performance.

“The Self-Generation Incentive Program is part of California’s efforts to lead the nation in the adoption of clean energy technologies,” said Lindsey Hawes, CSE assistant director for distributed energy resources. “Locally, residents can benefit from such projects as the Escondido Bioenergy Facility as it produces renewable power, reduces electric grid demand and helps curb fossil fuel-generated greenhouse gas emissions."

SGIP offers financial incentives for the installation of clean, efficient and cutting-edge technologies that are designed to meet all or a portion of a customer’s electric energy needs. To learn more about combined heat and power systems and other SGIP-incentivized energy technologies, visit the Self-Generation Incentive Program.

Chuck Colgan