Lessons Learned Implementing One of North Carolina's Only Combined Heat and Power Facilities at a Wastewater Treatment Plant

10:00AM - 4:00PM
William Rice

Project Coordinator
Charlotte Water

In early 2017, Charlotte Water finally saw the completion and startup of its first Combined Heat and Power facility. After almost 10 years of project development, background research, and many started and stops, the project finally completed design and construction to become operational. The facility, located at the McAlpine Creek Wastewater Management Facility and running off of anaerobic digester gas, has since created 4000 MWh of power sent directly back onto the local utility grid. Additionally, the facility generates approximately thermal energy for use as process heat in the anaerobic digesters. Currently, the facility operates around the clock with the exception of minor shutdowns for maintenance or other short operational problems. There were many lessons learned during the implementation of this project and the subsequent operations. These include: - Importance of ergonomics and accessibility in designing gas scrubbing equipment - How best to control engine when gas is used for other competing priorities - Owner pre-procuring of equipment Do's and Don't's - Hidden maintenance and operational costs - Sales claims vs. ideal operational realities