City of Arvin, Veolia break ground on innovative solar installation

Photo courtesy of Veolia North America.

The City of Arvin, California and Veolia North America broke ground recently on a new solar energy installation that will meet all the power needs of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and eliminate its greenhouse gas emissions from power generation.

Since energy can account for as much as 30% of water treatment costs, the project provides an economic and environmental benefit to the city.

Veolia has operated and maintained the City of Arvin’s wastewater treatment plant for more than a decade. Last year the city and Veolia began discussions about using renewable energy to reduce the cost and improve the reliability of the plant’s operation as part of Veolia’s GreenUp strategy, which aims to position Veolia as a driver of technological innovations. The project will generate one megawatt of electricity, or enough to power about 205 homes. The project is financed through a combination of low interest municipal financing and the federal Inflation Reduction Act.

The City of Arvin has long been a sustainability leader among cities. They lead the nation in the number of electric vehicle charging stations per capita, and were the first city to adopt an all-electric fleet of city buses. This decarbonized wastewater plant is only the latest in a series of energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction projects undertaken by the city.

Susana Reyes, Arvin City Mayor Pro Tem, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with Veolia on this renewable energy project at the wastewater treatment plant.”

Jeff Jones, Arvin City Manager, said: “This project will save the City thousands of dollars on annual energy bills and is a great green energy project for Arvin.”

Christine Viterelli, Arvin’s Grant Manager,, who has been pioneering the city’s energy efficiency and fleet transition projects since 2016 said: “Arvin is a small, rural community in Kern County that is mighty when it comes to making significant progress in its fleet transition to electric, solar, and EV Charging. Every renewable energy project that is constructed will have an impact in reducing air pollution and greenhouse gasses.”

Patrick Schultz, CEO of Veolia Sustainable Industries and Buildings, added: “We are thrilled to partner the City of Arvin and our technical partners to make this unique renewable energy installation a reality. Forward thinking cities like Arvin recognize that water and energy are scarce resources that must be conserved for long-term community benefit. Projects like this are part of our ‘Green Up’ strategy. Veolia is uniquely positioned to help cities and industries improve their operations while meeting their sustainability goals.”

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