Southern California Gas, city of Escondido to generate energy from sewage

10 February 2011

Southern California Gas and the city of Escondido have announced the official commencement of the first renewable energy project in California to purify wastewater biogas to generate natural gas.

The main aim of the project is to meet the state standards for natural gas delivered to homes and businesses.

The city of Escondido's Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility is the test site of an innovative new pressure swing adsorption system that takes raw gas produced from the facility's normal operation and upgrades it through a multi-stage process to pipeline-quality natural gas.

By employing this new technology, the city of Escondido can produce enough natural gas to serve about 1,200 homes.

The $2.7 million demonstration project, being funded by SoCalGas' research and development group is expected to continue for up to 12 months in order to prove that this technology can cost-effectively produce renewable natural gas that reliably meets California's stringent gas quality standards.

After the demonstration, the equipment will be put into commercial use on-site or moved to an alternative location if necessary.