In 2010, when the City of Regina was still mapping out the cost of a new waste water treatment facility (WWTF), staff received a report that they had commissioned titled Alternative Energy Study: Regina Wastewater Treatment Plan. Here is the summary of the AECOM report's findings.
The engineering consulting firm, AECOM, was contracted to develop a business case analysis on five alternative energy sources to assist the City of Regina in determining which alternative energy source would meet the municipality's objective of reducing their dependency on utility-supplied electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at their waste water treatment plant. Five sources of alt-energy were analyzed:
3. Biogas - Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
4. Wastewater Heat Recovery (heating)
5. Deep Well Geothermal.
While many energy efficiency elements were included in the final design and construction, the report made a case to do more. Consider that the analysis took place when solar and wind technology would have been more expensive and yielded a reduced return on investment. Even then, the consultant's made a very clear case for renewable energy systems. As the report reads:
"All of the options do not achieve the City's criteria for simple payback of 7 to 20 years. However, several of the options are very good long-term investments based on NPV and IRR indicators; in other words they make a good business sense."
Wind and biogas were recommended as the best choices, and were estimated to save the plant hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. What happened?
You can download the complete Alternative Energy Study here.