by Brittany Grego | September 10th 2019
BELLAIRE, Ohio — A $5.3 million project just wrapped up at the Bellaire Wastewater Treatment Plant, making it one of the first in the state of Ohio to become energy-neutral.
Judge Frank Fregiato, surrounded by employees and board members, cut the ribbon to celebrate the Eastern Ohio Regional Wastewater Authority upgrades.
New technology and equipment was installed to allow the facility to generate renewable energy.
“To be able to produce electricity to get the plant off the grid so to speak so it can be independent from purchasing power from AEP,” Facility Engineer Jeff Vaughn said.
Quasar Energy Group took the lead on the project, and engineers say biogas is now converted to electricity with a microturbine.
The facility is also helping the region manage material and reduce disposal costs.
“To bring in other additional organic waste from that area that would normally be brought to landfills and diverted to this plant, to create even more energy and make the plant energy neutral,” said Renato Contipelli, municipal manager, Quasar Energy Group.
The Ohio Water Development Authority helped with project funding.
Businesses, along with local and state leaders gathered for a special ceremony.
Senator Frank Hoagland read a proclamation to congratulate the wastewater authority and praised its success.
“We call it a force multiplier from where I’m from, you want to have a facility that can do more than just one thing,” Hoagland said.
This facility will partner with other municipalities, allowing them to dispose of their waste at a lower rate, saving money for everyone.
“We wanted to look at maintaining our rate structure so we wanted to think outside of the box, different things we could do and this project allowed us to go off the grid,” said Valerie Moore, executive director, EORWA.