Instead of burning raw gas from a sewage treatment plant, a San Diego facility is purifying it to help power homes.
The wastewater treatment facility is the first of its kind in California.
Escondido's Hale Avenue Resource Recovery facility is the test site to convert raw sewage gas into renewable natural gas and as of Tuesday, it is open for business.
Using new technology, the plant purifies biogas produced on-site to meet California standards. In the process carbon emissions from the facility are reduced.
“The waste that is currently created in California could produce about 16 percent of the natural gas energy of all of California if we keep implementing technology like this,” said Hal Snyder, Vice President of Customer Solutions with Southern California Gas Co. and SDG&E.
The process takes the waste from wastewater treatment facilities, digests it through an anaerobic digestion system, cleans up the gas and puts it through a pipeline for homes, businesses or cars, according to Snyder.
It’s the second time in the U.S. this technology has been used. In January, Charleston launched a landfill gas to electricity project.
“This is just the first step,” said Snyder. “The journey is much bigger facilities, much bigger capture and much bigger opportunities to bring natural gas in our systems.”
The goal is to power 1,200 homes.