San Luis Obispo officials led tours Wednesday of major upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant aimed at reducing carbon emissions, saving energy and reducing costs.
Construction on the $9.5 million project had started in January 2014 and included upgrades to water processing systems and control systems. A combined heat and power system allows for on-site electricity to be generated using natural biogas produced at the treatment plant each day.
The city partnered with PG&E to facilitate the upgrades — the first-ever partnership of its kind to improve energy efficiency at a city facility.
According to the city, the upgrades will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 1 million pounds. With the improvements in place, the city could save about $325,000 a year in energy and maintenance costs.
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The plant on Prado Road, called the Water Resource Recovery Facility, treats 1.7 billion gallons of sewage from the city, Cal Poly and the county airport annually.