Bucklin Point Green Energy
The Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) generously hosted a NEBRA tour of the upgraded anaerobic digestion and planned combined heat and power (CHP) systems at the Bucklin Point WWTF on July 18th. Barry Wenskowicz led the tour.
Wenskowicz estimates that off-site solids management – landfill disposal and incineration – generate the WWTF’s largest proportions – about 2/3 – of greenhouse gas emissions, much in the forms of methane and nitrous oxide. To address that, and to help meet NBC’s aggressive goal of achieving 100% sustainable electricity generation, the Bucklin Point facility is installing CHP to fully utilize the biogas produced in the anaerobic digesters. Part of the plan includes optimizing the digestion process and ensuring consistency in biogas production.
The new biogas-fueled engine, being installed now, will provide about 5 million kWh/year of power, which is about 14% of NBC’s total demand. Existing and new solar and wind power systems at the larger NBC Fields Point WWTF and at offsite locations will provide the remaining renewable energy expected to meet NBC’s sustainability goal.
The Bucklin Point biogas CHP project is expected to cost $6.44 million, plus $172,000/year for operations. It will generate 37% of Bucklin Point’s electricity demand, providing an estimated value of $440,000 annually. Wenskowicz and the operations team are busy studying details of the facility’s operations, to ensure the digesters run as smoothly as possible going forward.