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RDN Perspectives - Fall 2003

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RDN Perspectives Fall 2003 Edition

environmental services

Nanaimo sewage treatment plant gets Power Smart

Page 3
RDN Deputy Chair and City of Nanaimo Councillor Larry McNabb at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre where two new biogas boilers are under construction to provide heat for the sewage plant and possibly generate electricity.

The Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre (GNPCC) is one of the Regional District of Nanaimo's largest consumers of energy. Through its participation in BC Hydro's Power Smart program, the GNPCC is on track to reduce the $250,000 it spends annually on electricity and potentially use biogas produced from digestion of biosolids leftover from the sewage treatment process to generate power for the plant and other users.

"Our partnership with BC Hydro and the Power Smart program benefits the City of Nanaimo, the Regional District and Vancouver Island as a whole," says Larry McNabb, RDN Deputy Chair and City of Nanaimo Councillor. "It will save taxpayers money and is environmentally sustainable. We'll better manage our electricity needs, reduce greenhouse gases, and potentially cut odours emanating from the operation of the plant."

The GNPCC, owned and operated by the RDN, receives and treats wastewater from residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the Greater Nanaimo area. The current population connected to this primary treatment plant is estimated at 72,000. As partner in the Power Smart program, the GNPCC has set a minimum energy reduction target of five per cent. RDN staff is now working with BC Hydro to identify where greater energy efficiencies in the areas of sewage pumping, lighting and heating costs can be achieved.

The GNPCC is currently installing two new boilers fired by biogas to initially heat the facility. Depending on the results of a $50,000 study, cost-shared with BC Hydro, the GNPCC could use excess biogas to generate electricity for sale to BC Hydro. A 20-year expansion and upgrading plan is underway at the GNPCC. The plan has been designed to ensure there are no unacceptable tax increases. Part of the long-range plan is to implement higher levels of sewage treatment at the plant.

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