Ithaca WWTP, NY: Target: Self Sufficiency

Ithaca WWTP, NY was featured under Sustainable Operations of TPO on July 2015 . The article includes the following:

Plant Basic Information & Objectives:Ithaca

  • With 13 MGD design and an average flow of 7 MGD, the Ithaca waste water treatment plant meets most of its power needs by using its biogas generation system.
  • In mid-1980’s, the Ithaca plant design consisted of two digesters, a cogeneration unit, and a trucked waste receiving facility.
  • In 2011, a performance contract was granted to Johnson Controls to upgrade the biogas system, replace the generation system, and improve efficiency and sustainability.
  • The performance contract included $8.2 million in projects and guaranteed close to $9 million in savings over a 20 year period.

Digester Mixer Upgrade:

The plant replaced its rotary lance mixing system with Ovivo’s LM™ technology, leading to better mixing, and the ability to generate stable biogas production using less than 10 hp to mix the 1.4 million gallons in the digester.

Membrane Gasholder:

The 35,000 cubic feet Ovivo Ultrastore™ dual membrane gasholder adds flexibility to the management of a consistent, gas-production flow of 130,000 cubic feet per day used for microturbines and digester heating.

Waste Receiving Facility Upgrade:

The old receiving facility (wooden-pole barn) was renovated into a $3 million high-bay structure. With this upgrade, the plant started accepting about 500,000 gallons of trucked-waste monthly: septage, grease-trap waste, yogurt, whey, dairy processing waste, municipal biosolids, and high strength waste from an animal carcass digester at Cornell University.

Other Upgrades:

  • The cogeneration engines and the existing gas cleanup system (by Unison Solutions) and were replaced with four new 65 kW Capstone®*
  • The new digester equipment and new biogas generation system provides up to 120,000 kWh per month, 40 percent of the plant’s electricity usage.
  • New Turblex®* aeration blowers and dissolved oxygen controls pushed this number up to 60 percent.
  • With the added provision of food-scrap waste from Cornell University, Ithaca will write a new chapter on achieving its goal of becoming 100 percent self-sufficient, and converting excess biogas to alternative energy sources like biodiesel production for use or revenue.

*Capstone is a registered trademark of Capstone Turbine Corporation.

*Turblex is a registered trademark of SIEMENS ENERGY, INC.


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