The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $402,000 in grants to four municipalities and technology providers to support innovative technical advancements for publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants in Amherst, Fairhaven, Pittsfield, and Westfield. The funding, awarded through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Wastewater Treatment Pilot program, will support publicly-owned wastewater treatment districts and authorities that demonstrate innovative water technologies that increase energy efficiency, recover resources and remediate nutrients such as nitrogen or phosphorus.
“Working with municipalities to make their wastewater treatment plants more efficient will provide benefits to their residents and the environment,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By supporting these pilot projects, our Administration continues our work with municipalities to reduce energy usage and decrease costs while reinforcing Massachusetts position as a national leader in water innovation.”
“The wastewater treatment process is often one of the largest consumers of electricity for municipalities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The funding awarded to local treatment facilities will help spur the advancement of cutting-edge technologies that will shape the future of wastewater treatment processes and strengthen Massachusetts’ thriving innovation economy.”
Funding for these programs comes from MassCEC’s Renewable Energy Trust which was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1998 as part of the deregulation of the electric utility market. The trust is funded by a systems benefit charge paid by Massachusetts electric customers of investor-owned utilities, as well as municipal electric departments that have opted to participate in the program.
“Supporting this pilot program will help to drive innovation in the water innovation sector and ensure that Massachusetts wastewater treatment plants have access to cutting-edge technologies,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “These pilots will help reduce peak energy demand across the state as the Commonwealth works to meet our ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.”
“Wastewater treatment is an energy intensive process and this program gives municipalities the resources to explore disruptive water technologies that improve energy efficiency,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “By driving down costs for consumers and reducing energy demand, this program provides a win-win for these communities.”
“Our agency was pleased to collaborate with the Clean Energy Center and the Commonwealth’s wastewater facilities to advance new technologies that will improve treatment processes and protect our water bodies,” said Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “This is a great example of the Commonwealth supporting treatment technology innovations that will provide a knowledge base and real facility experience as we transition to the environmentally effective treatment facilities of the future.”
Each project being awarded is a partnership between a municipality and a technology provider. The four municipalities provided a cost-share of $547,384.
The following municipalities and technology providers were awarded:
MICROrganic Technologies and the Town of Pittsfield- $56,888 - The funding will be used to implement an energy-neutral technology to potentially replace current energy-intensive processes. The team will aerate organic waste without blowing air through it, which will significantly decrease the Town of Pittsfield’s energy costs.
Nanostone Water Inc. and the Town of Amherst- $145,027 - The funding will be used totreat wastewater using innovative treatment and oxidation methods. The goal of this pilot project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of these new methods regarding reuse of water for non-potable uses.
Microvi Biotech, Westech Engineering Inc., and the Fairhaven Water Pollution Control Facility- $150,000 - The funding will be used to demonstrate a dual-pronged innovation for treating wastewater. The process focuses on two kinds of nutrient removal technology that is expected to reduce energy usage at the facility by 15-20 percent.
Hach, Woodard & Curran and the City of Westfield- $50,000- The funding will be used to demonstrate the benefits of ammonia-based aeration control. This demonstration aims to define the benefits and further quantify the expected 10% energy savings.
“As municipal expenses increase, innovative solutions to wastewater treatment operations provide a creative way to lower costs and further protect the environment,” said State Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). “This grant makes such innovation possible and I wish it future success.”
“We must invest in innovative ways to improve energy efficiency and cost saving technologies, and this award will help Pittsfield implement energy-neutral technology that decreases the City’s energy costs,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D-Pittsfield). “This is a win-win situation for the environment and our taxpayers.”
"This grant will enable Pittsfield to continue its path of energy efficiency in the wastewater treatment process,” said State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield). “When we invest in energy savings, we invest in economic development. I am thrilled that under the leadership of Mayor Tyer Pittsfield continues to look for innovation and energy savings in all its undertakings."
"I am pleased that MassCEC is awarding this grant to MICROrganic Technologies and the City of Pittsfield,” said State Representative Paul Mark (D-Peru). “This innovative use of funds will not only implement new water technologies and decrease our energy costs, but help move the Berkshires toward a greener future.”
“Both Fairhaven and Mattapoisett will benefit greatly, from this grant award by the MassCEC Wastewater Treatment Pilot program, in providing a state of the art facility whose advanced technology will protect public health and the environment around Buzzards Bay,” said State Representative William Straus (D- Mattapoisett).
“Amherst is one of the statewide centers for water treatment innovation, so this grant is well-placed,” said State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose (U-Amherst).