WMUA’s Infrastructure ESIP Earns Top Project of the Year

July 7, 2022

Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and sustainability, and Willingboro Municipal Utilities Authority (WMUA) today announced that their infrastructure project to improve sustainability and resilience of WMUA’s water and wastewater facilities received a Top Project of the Year Award in the elite Environment + Energy Leader Awards program. The win is an indication that the program’s expert judges consider WMUA a top example of the exemplary work being done today in the fields of energy and environmental management.

Using New Jersey’s first MUA Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP), the project updates facilities and community operations through the addition of 13,000 Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) water meters, improved Pollution Control Plant (PCP) processes, including a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, and traditional energy efficiency infrastructure improvements that will enhance the quality of life for residents.

The ESIP will enhance PCP processes through the inclusion of a CHP plant that will utilize cleaned and filtered methane gas currently produced at the PCP, combined with the existing solar energy and new battery storage to supply the MUA’s microgrid. The microgrid will reduce energy costs and emissions, provide energy resilience to keep the plant operational during grid outages, and diversify the energy supply. The project will garner over $7 million of savings over twenty years.

One judge said of the ESIP: “This project will become even more important in the future as the electric grid greens and the electricity produced by a natural gas fired CHP system causes GHG emissions to increase. Every MUA should consider a similar project.”

Another added, “This multi-faceted project allows the upgrades to work together in a holistic fashion to result in a significantly more energy efficient system than would be ordinarily possible.  In this project, the wastewater plant creates methane which is then used to operate the Combined Heat and Power plan and enhance reliability offered through the new microgrid."                                                                                                      

The Environment + Energy Leader Awards is a program recognizing excellence in products and services that provide companies with energy and environmental benefits, and in projects implemented by companies that improved environmental or energy management and increased the bottom line.

“We’re honored to be recognized as a Top Project by expert judges in sustainability and energy efficiency for our project to make our infrastructure more consistent, accurate, efficient and automated,” said Carl Turner, Board Chairman, WMUA. “It illustrates the transformative power of modernization in municipal infrastructure. The proactive planning of the WMUA Board of Commissioners has laid the groundwork for fiscally-responsible energy management and system resilience, which translates into reliable critical service continuity for citizens.”

“Water and wastewater facilities often fall to the bottom of the improvement priority list due to funding challenges, as funds typically come from rate increases,” said Tammy Fulop, Vice President, Sustainability Business at Schneider Electric. “The use of a program like an ESIP, also known as an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), helps municipal leaders bring critical facilities to the forefront of their priority list. With federal funding on the horizon for water infrastructure, it’s more important than ever to consider how municipal operations, energy efficiency and environmental impact can be improved for the betterment of the community.”

Schneider Electric has successfully implemented 850 ESPC projects, saving partners more than $3 billion. Schneider Electric has been named the #1 ESCO by Guidehouse Insights and was ranked the #1 Most Sustainable Company in 2021 by Corporate Knights.

For more information on  opportunities for reducing carbon emissions while improving operational resilience and budget stability, download our ebook: A Sustainable Infrastructure Primer for Local Governments.

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