When the Department of Environmental Protection contacted Chris Pompi, the director of public works for the town of Lee, that they had stimulus funds available for his town to use, they wanted to know one thing.
Recovery Act Impact: Lee Wastewater Treatment Plant
“They said, can you get to zero net energy?” said Pompi.
Thanks to the stimulus grant, the town of Lee is pretty close.
The town was one of 14 across the state to be part of a pilot program through the Recovery Act to upgrade its drinking water and wastewater facilities. Lee received $800K in stimulus funds, which enabled the town to enhance its energy efficiency at its plant and realize significant cost savings.
“We are minimizing costs to our rate payers with renewable energy and staying green in the process,” said Pompi.
As Pompi likes to point out, his town's wastewater treatment plant is a unique outfit, with its access to hydro and solar energy sources. The stimulus grant enabled the town to retool its existing hydro turbine to make it more efficient by putting in a separate flow and adding alternative flow controls. This increased capacity and results in a savings of 26,000KW hours annually. The plant also added a 34KW roof mounted solar photo voltaic array which will result in 30,000KW hours saved annually.
The town was also able to install 8 premium efficiency motors in the plant with an estimated annual savings of 11,000 KW hours. They fixed the light fixtures and replaced high pressure bulbs with T8 Fluorescent bulbs which will save 13,000 KW hours a year. They also installed a new HVAC system with a programmable thermostat to save 400 gallons of fuel a year.
“We are now 70 percent self-generated,” said Pompi. “It’s a pretty energy efficient place. We were fortunate to get the stimulus money.”