Southern Water Pollution Control Facility Cogeneration Improvements

Southern Water Pollution Control Facility Cogeneration Improvements Project

Southern Water Pollution Control Facility Cogeneration Improvements

Providing Emergency Backup Generation During Times of Need

The Southern Water Pollution Control Facility and many other wastewater treatment facilities statewide were severely impacted with sustained power outages due to Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority created the New Jersey Energy Resilience Bank — the first public infrastructure bank in the nation to focus on energy resilience — to support the emergency generation of power during outages of sustained periods, such as during major storm events, with an emphasis on combined heat and power applications. 

The Ocean County Utilities Authority’s Cogeneration Improvements Project was an NJERB-funded project with requirements that included constructing above the Federal Emergency Management Agency Base Flood Elevation and providing the ability to furnish power for the critical electrical load of the facility continuously for seven days, as occurred during Hurricane Sandy at the SWPCF.

The Cogeneration Improvements Project included the installation of a CHP system to generate renewable electricity from digester gas (biogas) generated during the wastewater treatment process at the 20-million gallons per day SWPCF in Stafford, New Jersey. The improvements included a new dual membrane cover on a primary digester that allowed the Authority to capture the generated biogas for use rather than flaring, maximizing value from this green energy source while reducing the plant’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

Three 200 kW CHP units with standby power capabilities were installed as part of the project, producing electricity generated from the biogas and currently satisfying up to 50% of the wastewater treatment plant electrical demand. The cogeneration system also captures and recovers the heat generated from the CHP engines for reuse to heat the digesters. 

This project provided the SWPCF with a reliable, sustainable, resilient and efficient source of electricity and heat that will be critical to maintaining plant operations during extreme storm events, reducing energy consumption and operational costs, and increasing reliance on renewable energy.

Southern Water Pollution Control Facility Cogeneration Improvements Project
Ocean County Utilities Authority

Stafford, NJ
United States

7-Day Emergency Supply of Power


Distinguished Engineering Award (2021)
New Jersey Alliance for Action