The Riverside Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) has recently installed a fuel cell power plant. The fuel cell power plant produces energy with reduced impact to the environment. The fuel cell at the RWQCP generates electricity with no combustion.
The fuel cell is in effect a large continuously operating battery that generates electricity as long as a source of hydrocarbon such as methane gas is supplied. Since the gas is not burned there is no pollution commonly associated with combustion.
The RWQCP produces methane gas from the anaerobic digestion process when treating and disposing of the sewer effluent. This source of methane has been deemed a renewable fuel for electrical power generation.
The use of the Plant's methane gas in the fuel cell power plant will produce the same amount of electrical energy, one megawatt, as one of the wastewater treatment plant s existing internal combustion (IC) engine generators. An additional benefit to the city is that the fuel cell power plant will produce only one half of the carbon dioxide that the IC engines would to produce the same amount of power, thereby reducing the city s emissions of greenhouse gas. The fuel cell and the IC engines have been submitted to the California Energy Commission for recognition of renewable energy credits. Currently the IC engines use 5-12% natural gas and the fuel cell is designed to use 100% methane gas and no natural gas.
With the addition of the fuel cell power plant the internal power generation capacity at the Plant will increase to 2 5 megawatts (MW) per day This will provide 83% of the Plant s electrical needs This is the equivalent of providing the monthly electrical needs of 38,067 homes in Riverside.
5950 Acorn Street
Riverside, CA 92504
Stormwater: (951) 826-5341
Wastewater: (951) 351-6140-5341
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