Last week, state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) launched the Florida Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Program, a $2 million grant program to upgrade publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants with energy-efficient technology.
This new grant initiative was developed by the FDACS Office of Energy based on the findings of their study entitled “Mapping the Energy Landscape of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants in the State of Florida.”
This recently completed study provides a baseline on energy efficiency and renewable energy measures and practices at water and wastewater treatment plants in Florida, and recommendations on how to reduce energy use and operating costs. The study found that Florida’s wastewater treatment plants could save annually 26,763,827 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 6,354 tons of carbon dioxide through energy efficiency improvements.
“Energy costs can be as high as 40 percent for wastewater treatment plants. Reducing energy use and operating costs are more important now than ever, as resources could potentially be diverted to address the ongoing pandemic,” said Fried on Friday. “Putting into action the results of our Office of Energy’s study with a solid $2 million grant investment creates a tremendous opportunity. With this funding, we can help Florida’s publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants reduce energy use, operating costs, and greenhouse gases through new energy-efficient technology.”
The Florida Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Program was developed to advance the energy-water nexus, a priority outlined by Fried’s Florida Climate and Energy Plan, released in October 2019 at the Florida Climate and Energy Summit. The plan discussed how water resources and energy production rely on each other and discusses the importance of protecting water sources and having energy-efficient processes involving water. In addition to reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, the FDACS Office of Energy is continuing its efforts to achieve energy equity by investing in projects that aim to reduce energy burden for Florida consumers. The Florida Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Program will consider factors that will reduce the total energy consumption but also the costs of wastewater treatment.
Florida publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants are the only eligible applicants for this program. Eligibility of applicants, projects, and activities, and locations is determined based on the definitions and other criteria addressed in the Notice of Federal Financial Assistance Funding Opportunity (NOTICE), its attachments, and associated documents.
Applications must be submitted to the FDACS Purchasing Office by October 30.