St. Petersburg, Florida, Receives $40M for Waste-to-Energy Project

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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection awarded a $40 million low-interest loan to St. Petersburg to upgrade the Southwest Wastewater Reclamation Facility. This Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan is part of an innovative $63 million waste-to-energy project that will transform biosolid materials into renewable energy for some of the city's vehicles as well as generate electricity for the city's use.

"Assisting communities like St. Petersburg with the ability to generate their own renewable energy through wastewater management processes demonstrates our commitment to preserving Florida's natural resources," says Trina Vielhauer, director of the Division of Water Restoration Assistance. "And the cost savings to St. Petersburg for fuel and electricity expenses are a significant added benefit."

SWWRF currently produces nonfertilizer-grade biosolids. This loan will help fund the infrastructure to consolidate and treat biosolids from SWWRF and two nearby water reclamation facilities, creating an innovative alternative to traditional disposal and land application. Once consolidated and treated, these biosolids will be transformed into higher fertilizer-grade biosolids suitable for sale in gardening centers. Biogas from the biosolids treatment process will be captured, cleansed and compressed for use as vehicle fuel.

"St. Petersburg is fortunate to have a partnership with DEP to make this waste-to-energy project a reality," says Gary Cornwell, St. Petersburg city administrator. "Our city is showing the rest of the state and country that we can and will protect our planet and its resources by reducing our carbon footprint."

For more information on treatment and uses of biosolids in Florida, click here.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program has awarded about $1.1 billion in funding for about 120 wastewater and stormwater improvement projects during the past five years for a total of $4 billion in loan funds since its inception in 1989. The program is funded by federal grants, state matching funds, loan repayments and interest earnings.



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