News Releases

Methane Generator, Energy Conservation Benefit City of Sparks

Feb 11, 2007

Media Contacts:
Sierra Pacific Powerâ€" Karl Walquist (775) 834-3891
City of Sparksâ€" Adam Mayberry (775) 353-7894

Sierra Pacific Power Company is presenting $286,719 today to the City of Sparks because of the community's commitment to renewable energy and conservation.

The city is receiving $186,719 from the utility for renewable energy produced during the past three years by a 700 kilowatt generator, along with associated equipment, at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF) that's fueled by methane gas produced at the facility.  Operated by the City of Sparks, TMWRF is jointly owned by the cities of Reno and Sparks.

Sierra Pacific can apply the renewable energy purchased from the plant, called Portfolio Energy Credits (PECs), toward the renewable energy portfolio standard that's been established by the State of Nevada. By 2015, 20 percent of the energy that Sierra Pacific sells to customers must be from renewable energy.

"This renewable energy produced at the water reclamation facility is valuable because it offsets the need to produce power at our fossil fuel generating plants,"said Mary Simmons, vice president of external affairs at Sierra Pacific Power."Sparks benefits because the payment it's receiving will help offset costs associated with operating the methane generator."

"Sparks is committed to finding innovative ways to keep operating costs low while at the same time protecting our environment,"said Shaun Carey, city manager for the City of Sparks. "These goals directly benefit all citizens in the Truckee Meadows who depend on the reclamation and treatment plant for a variety of purposes."   

Sierra Pacific has a 20-year contract to purchase PECs from the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility.

In addition, the city is getting $93,180 for TMWRF's participation in Sierra Pacific's SureBet Program, an incentive program to reward commercial electric customers for energy conservation.

To qualify for the payment, the city replaced two large jet aeration pumps and three mixing pumps at the treatment facility with an alternative aeration technology - fine bubble diffusers - for annual energy savings of more than 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity. The plant staff also replaced three blowers used in the treatment process with high efficiency blowers, resulting in an annual energy savings of approximately 1.2 million kilowatt hours.

Sparks will also be getting $6,820 from Sierra Pacific through the same program for retrofitting 373 of the city's standard traffic signal lamps and nine pedestrian signal lamps to energy efficient LED lights that use semiconductor materials to produce light. 

Simmons will present the checks to the Sparks City Council at its Feb. 12 meeting.