The Hyperion Treatment Plant in Playa del Rey will soon be turning the gaseous byproduct of treated sewage into enough renewable, steam-powered electricity to run the plant.
Hyperion’s $220-million Digester Gas Utilization Project broke ground on Tuesday during a press conference led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“Every single time we flush a toilet it will help reduce taxpayers’ energy bills,” Garcetti said. “We can run our own electricity from gas products. It’s like a turbo engine from sewage.”
The project utilizes gas-powered combustion turbine generators to both directly create electricity and convert heat to steam, thereby powering additional turbines.
Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation Director Enrique Zaldivar said gasses generated by Hyperion would otherwise contribute to air pollution.
“Recently, it would have been burned and flared into the atmosphere, and that wasn’t good either,” he said.
The Digester Gas Utilization Project is set for completion in December 2016.
In addition to the three large, tan cylindrical structures that make up the new renewable energy facility, Zaldivar said sanitation officials are also redeploying a 10,000-square-foot former water processing building that was decommissioned 25 years ago. The new facility will also allow Hyperion to recycle 30,000 gallons of water a day, he said.
— Gary Walker