Since 1985, the City of Boulder has been generating electricity from clean, renewable sources. Boulder currently has a three-part renewable energy program that includes cogeneration, hydroelectricity and solar power.
Methane and other gas byproducts from the wastewater treatment process are used to fuel two engine generators that produce both electricity and heat, a process known as cogeneration. The combined heat and power system provides efficient heat for the facility's buildings and treatment processes, and electricity that helps to offset operational costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The city's eight hydroelectric power plants turn water power into electricity, generate revenue, and provide sustainable, non-polluting energy.
More than two megawatts of solar electric and solar thermal systems are generating renewable energy, reducing emissions, and offsetting operation costs at 19 City of Boulder facilities.
During the past four years, the one-megawatt solar photovoltaic system at the Wastewater Treatment Facility has generated more than six million kilowatt-hours of electricity, saving utility ratepayers more than $200,000. The system began generating clean, renewable power in August 2010 and has operated efficiently and reliably ever since, producing about 14 percent of the facility’s annual power needs.