American Water Resources Association
The global drive for renewable energy has not only motivated power producers to invest in hydropower; water and wastewater utilities are also seizing the opportunity to take advantage of hydropower in their systems. The use of hydroelectric power generation in water and wastewater systems typically takes the form of small hydropower units (less than 5 MW), and has gained momentum in part thanks to federal and state financial incentives. These incentives coupled with the modest capital expenditure and rising power costs result in attractive financial metrics for owners. We will discuss the pending federal legislation that will streamline the small hydro permitting process and make it more realistic for municipal entities.
The presentation will focus on emerging trends in small and micro hydropower for water and wastewater utilities including site selection, hydropower technologies, financial incentives, licensing concerns, and case studies highlighting recent small hydro experience. We will also discuss determining the feasibility of a small hydropower unit and the process that is utilized to make that determination.
Finally, we will highlight the benefits of installing hydropower in existing water and wastewater systems including offsetting power consumption, selling power back to the grid, and improving community and stakeholder relations through sustainability.