Taking a look at energy efficient choices (updated)

Lisa Goudy
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Coun. Don Mitchell speaks about the environment advisory committee's recommendation to explore possibilities for energy efficient technology in wastewater treatment facilities at the May 20, 2014 council meeting.

Savings might result from options using energy efficient technology in wastewater treatment facilities.

At Tuesday’s meeting, council approved the environment advisory committee’s recommendation for the engineering department to explore options for using that technology.

“This comes as a result of a communication and background report from SaskPower/SaskEnergy regarding potential for energy efficiency opportunities, particularly in relation to wastewater treatment, but potentially other facilities as well,” said Coun. Don Mitchell.

“My understanding is that SaskPower/SaskEnergy is prepared to do an assessment of potential energy savings in municipal facilities on invitation from the municipality … to determine whether there’s significant savings and advantage to actually reduce energy costs to the city and upgrade our facilities.”

According to information supplied by SaskPower in a background report, SaskPower has partnered with Honeywell with new solutions for the collection of wastewater.

It focuses on four areas of a wastewater treatment plant that use the most energy — aeration, pumping, digestion and solids handling. Combined, those account for up to 90 per cent of energy usage in a facility.

After Coun. Dawn Luhning asked about cost, Matt Noble, city manager, said costs are unknown at this time. Once costs are known prior to SaskPower doing studies, there will be a report to council.

“Administration has already embarked on investigation of this opportunity. That said, public works has been notified as has water works,” said Noble. “We are attempting to work with SaskPower. but there are a number of steps you go through during this process. At some point in time, if it’s determined that the value is there, there will be costs to the city from SaskPower to undertake the studies.”

Coun. Brian Swanson said using energy efficient technology should be a “standing order for all departments.” He added more information is required.

“I attended a workshop on this type of thing at a school board facilities’ conference and there are numerous companies in this business and what they do is they come in and do an audit of the facility,” said Swanson. “They sign a contract with you that they’ll do upgrades in exchange for receiving the savings that you get.”

The City of Moose Jaw’s wastewater treatment plant is five years old.

“I’m sure someone’s going to tell me that technology’s changing every day, but we should have had the most up to date energy technology involved given that we spent $26 million on that project,” he said.           

Mitchell said passing the motion doesn’t mean the city has to go with a specific company.

“It doesn’t mean that other options couldn’t be explored, but it’s a starting point,” he said. “(SaskPower is) where the invitation comes from so that’s where the focus would start.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: SaskPower, SaskEnergy, Honeywell

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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