Funding approved for WSSC Water bioenergy project

Earlier this month, the Maryland Board of Public Works (BPW) approved an estimated $25 million in loans and loan forgiveness to WSSC Water to help Maryland’s largest water utility continue efforts to protect local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay with the construction of the Piscataway Bioenergy Project.

A portion of the loan, $3 million, is the first funding WSSC Water has received under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed into law by President Joe Biden in November 2021. 

The estimated $22.5 million loan and up to $2.5 million in additional loan forgiveness from the Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund will help fund the ongoing design and construction of WSSC Water’s Piscataway Bioenergy facility in Accokeek, Maryland, in Prince George’s County. At the heart of the project is how WSSC Water handles biosolids, the nutrient-rich organic material resulting from the wastewater treatment process. WSSC Water’s five major water resource recovery facilities currently produce about 8,000 tons of biosolids monthly. Through innovative technology, the amount of biosolids left over from the new treatment process will be significantly reduced and cleaner (Class A).  

Creating these Class-A biosolids will generate methane gas, which will be captured and upgraded to renewable natural gas (RNG) that WSSC Water will sell on the open market. Selling RNG will generate Renewable Fuel Credits, which can be sold to generate additional revenue for WSSC Water.  

“The Piscataway Bioenergy Project is about creating green jobs, protecting our waterways and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said WSSC Water General Manager and CEO Kishia L. Powell. “This innovative project will generate revenue and save our customers more than $3 million annually by reducing operating costs. On behalf of our Commissioners, I thank BPW members for approving these funds and extend our appreciation to the Maryland Department of the Environment for their partnership in reviewing and approving our funding applications.” 

Construction began in the spring of 2019 and is expected to be substantially complete by November 2024. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *