Aqualia Uses Wastewater to Generate Energy
A Spanish wastewater company, Aqualia Gestion Integral del Augua SA, started a $15.9 million (12 million-euro) project to use wastewater and algae to generate energy.
The project will grow the algae using sunlight and nutrients in the wastewater, which will then be harvested for transformation into biofuels. According to Aqualia, the All-Gas project could generate enough biomethane and biodiesel for 400 fleet vehicles.
“Today, we are wasting resources and producing useless sludge,” Frank Rogalla, the project leader at Aqualia, said in an interview. “Now we will use these resources to produce biofuel without any leftovers, and having a positive impact.”
Backed partially by the European Union, biofuels, hydrogen and renewable power are expected to account for 10 percent of the EU's transportation energy by 2020. The target will help cut emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels.
Over the next five years, the project will be under development, with a prototype facility expected in the first two years.
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“A town of 25,000 people can produce with 10 hectares worth of land about 1 tonne of biodiesel per day and about 1,500 or so cubic meters of biomethane,” Rogalla said.
Rogalla also predicts that the technology could be cost-competitive with fossil fuels within a few years, especially as oil prices continue to rise.
“The opportunity is such that 60 million people, roughly the U.K. population, would be able to power 1 million vehicles from just flushing their toilet,” Rogalla said.
Lightsource bp’s first Spanish project powers up in Zaragoza
Lightsource bp has powered up its 247MW flagship solar project Vendimia in Zaragoza, Spain.
Around 615,000 bifacial solar panels have been installed, over 650 hectares of land on multi-row tracker technology enabling the panels to follow the sun, maximising energy generation efficiency. In addition, two overhead transmission lines at 18km and 20km were constructed to efficiently deliver the solar power into the local network.
The five-project cluster was constructed safely during the COVID-19 pandemic and commercial operation recently began. The total power output will be supplied to bp’s European power trading team under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Fernando Roger, Country Head for Lightsource bp Spain, said the connection of its Vendimia project demonstrates the resilience of solar. "We had to face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but our team and trusted partners remained focussed, and now we have completed our first project in Spain. We would also like to extend a special thank you to all the landowners involved for their continued support on this project.
Felipe Arbelaez, senior vice president for zero carbon energy bp said: “It’s fantastic to see the safe start-up of this first project in Spain, and for Lightsource bp to achieve an impressive 3GW pipeline in just two years. Through disciplined investment and safe execution, we are delighted to see the next chapter of bp’s energy story in Spain come online. This project is also a great example of the power of bp’s integration capabilities as our expert power trading team will offtake the power generated, supporting the financial stability of the project and meeting bp’s strict returns threshold.”
The construction process was handled by Lightsource bp’s appointed contractor, Prodiel (an Andalusian engineering, procurement and construction company) and over 600 local jobs were created during that time. Prodiel will continue to maintain the solar cluster under an Operations & Maintenance agreement for the next two years.
At the opening ceremony, Carlos Barassa, head of country for bp Spain, said: "The Vendimia solar project that we are inaugurating today in Zaragoza is great example of the fulfillment of bp's ambition in its transition to an integrated energy company, and our contribution to building a low-carbon future."
bp will pay 7X Energy $220 million for the projects and 1GW of 'safe harbour' equipment and expects the acquisition to complete in 30 days. The projects, spread across 12 states - with the largest portfolios in Texas (ERCOT) and MidWest (PJM) - are expected to meet bp’s low carbon investment criteria, generating returns of at least 8-10%.