City of Sheboygan treatment plant wins Sustainability Best Practices award

Honor cites microturbines that burn digester methane in combined heat and power system

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The City of Sheboygan, Wis., has received a prestigious award from the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) for nearing energy self-sufficiency at its wastewater treatment plant using microturbines from Capstone Turbine Corp.

Sheboygan was the only GLSLCI member city in the U.S. and Canada to receive the Wege Small Cities Sustainability Best Practices Award, recognizing work to protect the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, restore them, and improve the quality of the water resources for future generations. GLSLCI is a bi-national coalition of mayors and other local officials who work actively with federal, state, and provincial governments.

Rather than flare excess digester methane, which has a greenhouse gas impact 21 times greater than carbon dioxide, the Sheboygan plant uses it to fuel 10 Capstone C30 and two C200 microturbines in a combined heat and power (CHP) application. The microturbines fulfill 90 percent of the plant's annual energy needs and nearly eliminate the purchase of natural gas for heating.

"We wanted something that made sense for the bottom line and the environment," said Dale Doerr, plant superintendent. "The cogeneration system helps protect the environment and keep our costs down."

Mayor Bob Ryan added, "Sheboygan is one of the most progressive cities in the country when it comes to using renewable energy sources. Using Capstone microturbines, our treatment plant produces more electricity than we use, so we sell the surplus back to the grid. If that's not sustainability, I don't know what is."


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