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Wastewater plant to turn sludge into renewable energy

The operator of two wastewater treatment plants in Rhode Island, have decided to turn their biosolids, or sludge, the byproduct of wastewater treatment, into energy, said Jamie Samons, public affairs manager of the Bay Commission. Within the month, a biogas generation facility will begin to convert waste into power, she said. The sludge produced within the plants will no longer be stockpiles, but instead harvested for biogas, which can be turned into electricity.

This step comes two years after the Bay Commission set a goal to be 100 percent renewable by 2020, following net metering laws that allowed organizations to receive renewable energy credits for green energy produced off-site. Two five-megawatt solar facilities will also go online this year, completing the 100 percent renewable energy mosaic pieced together by the Bay Commission. Once complete, the agency will be powered by over 50 percent wind, 8 percent biogas and 30 to 35 percent solar, she added.

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