Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, and LA Sanitation announced the start of construction of a 25-megawatt (net) biogas-fueled cogeneration plant, which will supply 100 percent of the steam and electricity produced to power LA Sanitation’s Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilmember Mike Bonin, and representatives from LA Sanitation and Constellation attended a groundbreaking ceremony at the Hyperion site to mark the occasion.
The cogeneration plant is expected to generate more than 173 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and supply up to 70,000 pounds per hour of steam, using the methane captured through Hyperion’s sewage treatment process as its fuel source.
“At LA Sanitation, we are committed to protecting public health and our environment,” said LA Sanitation Director, Enrique C. Zaldivar, P.E. “Keeping our commitment means continually improving and finding innovative new ways to meet the sustainability goals that Mayor Garcetti has set for the entire city. Today’s groundbreaking brings us closer to fulfilling our pledge to the people of Los Angeles.”
LA Sanitation selected Constellation as the project developer after a competitive bidding process. Constellation and its affiliate Exelon Generation will develop, construct and operate the cogeneration facility for 20 years, with an option to extend the agreement for two additional five-year terms.
“Constellation is proud to work with City of Los Angeles and LA Sanitation to develop and operate a cogeneration plant for the Hyperion facility that will help the community move toward its economic and environmental goals,” said Gary Fromer, senior vice president, distributed energy at Constellation. “Biogas-fueled cogeneration offers wastewater treatment facilities a cost-efficient, sustainable, and resilient energy source that is highly effective at reducing methane and carbon dioxide emissions.”
By using biogas fuel to generate electricity instead of brown power sources, the Hyperion cogeneration plant is expected to avoid the release of approximately 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, or the equivalent emissions from over 21,000 passenger vehicles annually, according to an estimate from LA Sanitation. In the event of an electric grid outage, the cogeneration plant has the ability to maintain operations at the wastewater treatment site.
The Hyperion cogeneration plant is Constellation’s newest project through its distributed energy business, which has more than 300 megawatts of assets in operation or under development for commercial and government customers throughout the United States. Constellation offers distributed energy solutions, including solar, cogeneration, backup generation, fuel cells, and battery storage, that may require no upfront capital from customers and may provide fixed power costs that are less than projected market rates.
Commercial operation of the Hyperion cogeneration plant is scheduled for the end of 2016.