New receiving station will create 200 jobs and convert commercial grease to energy
The Great Neck Water Pollution Control District (GNWPCD) will receive $10.52 million in funding through New York’s Transformative Investment Program, according to Senator Elaine Phillips. The vital funding is a key component that will allow the district to install a modern grease receiving station, the first in Nassau County, and will provide much-needed upgrades to the current anaerobic digester at the East Shore Road plant.
The new grease station will accept brown grease collected at local restaurants and commercial kitchens, which will in turn increase gas production at the district’s Cogeneration Facility.
Recognizing the substantial economic and environmental impacts the new station would have on the region, as well as increased savings to taxpayers, Phillips fought to secure this new funding for the GNWPCD. The new station will create more than 200 jobs for the region, with about half being directly employed by the district.
“Nassau County currently lacks a facility capable of handling commercial grease disposal on a large scale, and constructing a local station is long overdue,” said Phillips. “This funding will allow the district to create a new disposal station, which will provide both economic and environmental benefits for the region, while at the same time reducing the taxpayer burden by converting grease into energy to run the plant. I applaud the district for taking a business-like approach to running the municipal plant and focusing on operational efficiency, increased revenue and holding the line on taxes.”
By creating this station in Nassau County, there will be a great reduction in carbon emissions and traffic due to a significant decrease in waste transport to facilities in Suffolk County and New Jersey. The district is also on track to be the first wastewater municipality in the state to refine cooking grease into power and heat for the facility, which will save taxpayer dollars.
“The district appreciates the untiring hard work of Senator Phillips, and her perseverance in the securing of grant funding for these incredible projects,” said Christopher Murphy, GNWPCD superintendent. “This grant funding would not have happened without her dedication to the people of our district. We hope to set the example, that there is energy in wastewater. Utilizing these proven technologies, wastewater treatment plants can become more environmentally friendly and self-sufficient, all while saving taxpayers’ dollars.”
The district’s three current anaerobic digesters are past their useful life and have limited gas storage. By updating the digester and creating the new grease receiving station, the district will double its methane production, completely automate the anaerobic digester process, incorporate new safety components and allow for more than triple the amount of gas storage at the facility.
Increased storage will generate more electric and heat through the cogeneration microturbine facility and will reduce dependency on outside utility services.
“Protecting our environment is one of my top priorities and the district’s use of biofuel as a green energy source is truly commendable, and an example more should follow,” said Phillips. “In fact, the Senate and Assembly passed legislation earlier this year requiring heating oil sold on Long Island to contain at least five percent biodiesel by July 1, 2018. Initiatives such as this, in homes, private businesses and public entities, will help to provide our region with cleaner air, reduce dangerous emissions and provide for a healthier environment in the long run.”
The funding, which will also be used to construct a third microturbine at the district’s existing Microturbine Co-Generation Waste to Energy Facility, was approved on Aug. 18 during the Empire State Development Board of Directors meeting and needs final sign off by the Public Authorities Control Board.
The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council also provided $770,000 towards the $12.3 million project.