Workers install a new turbogenerator at the Albany County Sewer District's North Plant in Menands on Wednesday, Sept. 21. The new waste-to-energy project is expected to save the county over $400k per year.
continued “We will actually recover the investment the county makes in about a year with all the added NYSERDA and federal stimulus monies,” he said. “After that it is all gravy. It also means that there will be energy utilized in this process and won’t go up in the air.”
The energy produced through the system will be able to fuel almost the entire plant, which Lyons said serves Green Island, Cohoes, Watervliet, Menands, portions of the Village of Colonie and parts of the Town of Colonie, but it will still have to use other forms of energy as well. It will cover 200,000 of the 300,000 residents in Albany County, said Rich Adair, chairman of the Albany County Sewer District’s Board of Commissioners.
“It’s going to provide a tremendous amount of environmental and economic benefit for the county of Albany,” Richard Lyons, executive director of the Albany County Sewer District, said. “We’re going to offset about 3.3 million kilowatt hours a year of energy we used to consume. Now it’s going to be produced by this generating equipment.”
Lyons said the county produces around 8,000 dry tons of dry sludge annually, which will be used to fuel the equipment at the plant. The idea of this sort of process is not an old one, Lyons said. He started working on this idea around six years ago. Breslin said it really came to fruition because of all the funding through state and federal sources.
“I went from having an idea, presented it to the county executive, went into a feasibility study, which took about a year and a half, and based on that feasibility study, it was a go, it was something that could become a reality,” Lyons said. “Then we got the funding and it became a no-brainer, like the county exec said.”
Breslin said the county is expecting this generator to be a model for other counties in the state and the country.
“NYSERDA is saying, ‘we can do things better, let’s look at the best way of doing things,’” he said. “This is a great one. We want to be able to model and recreate it other places. This will be the model and inspiration.”