Moreno Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility Fuel Cell Cogeneration Design and Construction

Eastern Municipal Water District, 

Moreno Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility Fuel Cell Cogeneration Design and Construction

2010 Project Achievement Award - Construction Management Association of America
Service Type: 
Project Highlights: 
  • Project consisted of installation of a digester gas-fueled fuel cell system to provide power and heat to the plant while using all available digester gas.
  • Project included a fuel conditioning system to treat all available digester gas on a consistent and reliable basis, giving the fuel cell installation very high operating availability; exceeding 98 percent for all three installed fuel cell units.
  • The fuel cell project included electrical system modifications to allow the fuel cell to power the plant even when a utility outage occurs and to allow the fuel cell generated power to be net metered to the utility, enhancing the economics of the operation.
Moreno Valley Fuel Cells and Digesters
Moreno Valley Fuel Cells and Digesters

Carollo provided design services for a 750-kW fuel cell cogeneration facility expandable to 1.5 MW. The fuel cell system converts biogas from the digesters into electricity and heat that is recovered and used onsite. The project included all required interconnection into the Moreno Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility digester gas, electrical switchgear, and hot water loop for electricity and head recovery. Fuel system components included digester biogas preconditioning equipment, fuel cell stack and fuel cell, water treatment equipment, electrical power system, site work, digester gas piping, hot water, and utility water connections.

The facility is designed to convert all available digester gas to electricity and hot water. As plant flows and digester gas production increase, additional fuel cell modules will be installed to increase the capacity of the facility to an ultimate capacity of 1,500 kW. In addition, Carollo assisted Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) in applying for grants from Southern California Edison because of the energy savings that resulted from the 750-kW fuel cell installation.

To date, 750 kW of the fuel cells has been installed and is currently operating, saving EMWD approximately $625,000 per year in electricity costs. Carollo also assisted EMWD in obtaining $3,375,000 in grant funding from the California Self Generation Incentive Program.