The City of Boulder 75th Street Wastewater Treatment Facility. Colorado has emerged as a national leader in demonstrating small municipal renewable natural gas (RNG) projects, as highlighted in our RNG report: “A Step-by-Step Guide for Communities“.
“The State,” said EV’s Founder Joanna Underwood “is rich in RNG feedstocks. Its 11 large wastewater treatment plants are one valuable resource.” At the time of our workshop there was one wastewater RNG project, at the Persigo wastewater treatment plant in Grand Junction — the first organic waste-to-fuel project in the state. There are now four RNG projects at Colorado wastewater facilities.
Since 2016, the renewable natural gas produced at Grand Junction’s Persigo wastewater plant has been powering roughly 80 municipal vehicles and transit buses. Prominently featured at Energy Vision’s Denver workshop, the project has been both noticed and replicated—three more Colorado wastewater plants have joined it in turning biogas into vehicle fuel, displacing a total of one million gallons of high carbon diesel and cutting an estimated 22 million pounds of CO2 emissions a year.
- The wastewater treatment plant in Englewood finished installing its RNG system in 2019, and now exports the equivalent of 640,000 gallons of fuel annually to out-of-state vehicle markets.
- In Boulder, a cogeneration system running on wastewater biogas was replaced in 2020 by an RNG project that now fuels up to 38 local garbage trucks.
- In Longmont, the wastewater treatment plant is now converting the biogas it produces into fuel for local vehicles, including 16 municipal garbage trucks.
Colorado’s projects demonstrate how individual communities can join the global fight against climate change by thinking locally and using their core infrastructure to convert their “waste” into clean, low-carbon vehicle fuel.
For other communities interested in producing RNG fuel from their wastewater plants, contact Energy Vision at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may organize a virtual or real tour of such plants, discussing how they can be implemented, their costs and economic and climate change benefits.