Sacramento Municipal Utility District Projects
Projects: solar highways and
biogas digestion systems
Funding received: more than $5 million
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) in Sacramento, California, is looking to local renewable resources to help meet its aggressive renewable energy supply goal of 37% by 2020. To help achieve this goal, the U.S. Department of Energy provided more than $5 million in funding for four SMUD Community Renewable Energy Deployment (CommRE) projects.
SMUD will deploy about 1.5 megawatts (MW) of concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology along California Highway 50 to generate clean, renewable power utilizing existing public land assets. The CommRE project is part of the Sacramento Solar Highways effort in partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). A company called SolFocus will install CPV technology and provide cost-sharing for the project. Through a competitive bid process, another company will be selected to provide flat plate systems to be installed along with the CPV.
Biogas Digestion Systems
In addition to the Solar Highways project, SMUD is also implementing the following CommRE projects that focus on biogas.
Regional County Sanitation District Wastewater Treatment Facility
A new process at the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (SRCSD) wastewater treatment facility will co-digest fats, oil, grease, and liquid food waste with sewage to generate biogas. The biogas will be used in the nearby Cosumnes Power plant for approximately 1 to 3 MW in power recovery.
Dairy Anaerobic Digestion Systems
Anaerobic digestion systems will be installed at the New Hope and Van Warmerdam dairy facilities, as part of this SMUD CommRE project. The systems will produce biogas used to generate about 1.2 MW of energy.
Sacramento Recycling and Transfer Station
The above-ground, complete mix digester at the Sacramento Recycling and Transfer Station will co-digest fruits, vegetables, and other organic wastes. This SMUD CommRE project will generate biogas that will be injected into SMUD's pipeline for use in a nearby generation facility to produce renewable electricity.
Environmental and Economic Benefits
The Community Renewable Energy Deployment projects will help SMUD meet its 37% by 2020 renewable energy goal. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the projects will also demonstrate that CPV and anaerobic digesters can be readily implemented through collaborative partnerships. Other communities will be able to learn how to avoid siting issues and transmission constraints that pose barriers to renewable energy capacity additions.
SMUD has created partnerships to implement the CommRE projects with California Bioenergy, Caltrans, Innate Energy, New Hope Dairy, RealEnergy, Sacramento Recycling and Transfer Station (BLT Enterprises), SolFocus, SRCSD, Van Warmerdam Dairy, and Williams Engineering.
SMUD staff has established communication lines with the cities of Sacramento and Rancho Cordova to keep them informed about the CommRE Sacramento Solar Highways project status.
SMUD will partner with the State of California, including the California Energy Commission (CEC), CalTrans, and the California Air Resources Board, to promote replication of their approaches, technologies, and implementation strategies statewide and nationally.
Learn about California's Renewable-Based Energy Secure Communities (RESCO) program funded by the CEC.