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Nanaimo sewage plant generates 2000 MW annually

A wastewater treatment plant in Nanaimo, B.C. is now ready to create electricity from biogas thanks to the installation of a cogeneration system.



Cogeneration equipment at the Nanaimo Pollution Control Plant.
Cogeneration equipment at the Nanaimo Pollution Control Plant.

A wastewater treatment plant in Nanaimo, B.C. is now ready to create electricity from biogas thanks to the installation of a cogeneration system.

The Nanaimo Pollution Control Plant had been using biogas to heat the centre’s own buildings and boilers for years. However, those uses only consumed 40% of the gas and the rest had to be flared off into the atmosphere.

The new cogeneration plant can produce 0.33 MW continually, which will mean approximately 2000 MW over a year. With a connection to BC Hydro’s grid, it will produce enough power for 325 homes. Associated Engineering was the consulting engineer.

The genesis of the project was a 2003 BC Hydro PowerSmart study which found that cogeneration would be feasible if the project could receive external funding support. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities provided $2.3 million towards the cost of the $2.95-million project.

The Nanaimo facilty is one of the first wastewater treatment plants of its size to install cogeneration.