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New Valley facility to extract biological gas to pump about $1.2M into Arizona coffers

(City of Phoenix Photo)

PHOENIX — A project to reclaim gas from solid human waste in Phoenix could pump $1.2 million into Arizona’s economy, an official said.

The 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant in Tolleson broke ground Thursday on a new biogas facility.

“Right now, most of that [solid-waste] gas is burned off with flares,” Dennis Porter with Phoenix Water said.

Porter said the project could reclaim as much as 600,000 cubic feet of gas that will all be sold on the renewable-energy market.

“This facility treats wastewater from Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale and Phoenix,” Porter said. “We’re all going to share in that revenue … which will be about $1.2 million a year.”

The Phoenix Water Department partnered with clean-energy company Ameresco to build the project and pipe the reclaimed gas into the Kinder-Morgan Pipeline.

“These folks run a first-class operation,” Michael Bakas, senior vice president at Ameresco, said. “It’s [also] sizeable, and … they have the foresight to do something outside of their comfort zone.”

Bakas said the project should be operational by the end of the year and will provide jobs in both operations and construction.

The 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest wastewater treatment plant in Arizona. It is jointly owned by the cities of Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe.

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