Bay Area Water Provider Wants To Get Into The Renewable Energy Business

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WALNUT CREEK (KCBS) – The East Bay Municipal Utility District is ready to get into the power business. In fact, the utility hopes to become so energy-efficient in 2011 that it can sell power back to the main grid.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

The biggest change being made in relation to EBMUD’s goal will take place at its wastewater treatment plant at the base of the Bay Bridge, in Oakland.

Currently, the plant transforms food and other waste into energy. That effort will get a boost when a new turbine is added in summer 2011.

“At that point we’ll not only be able to power the plant but we expect to have enough left over so that we can sell power back to the grid,” declared utility spokesperson Andrea Pook.

She said the extra production, on top of two hydroelectric plants in the Sierra, would combine to generate enough power for nearly 20,000 homes.

“And then we also have a solar component that’s relatively small in comparison, but we also work to have solar where we can at our facilities both in the East Bay and elsewhere.”

Last year, EBMUD generated an energy surplus of more than 100,000 megawatt hours.

“The board is very committed and wastewater scientists are very committed to finding new ways to do things and this is one of those ways,” affirmed Pook.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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