A proposal to power a recycled water project with a huge wind turbine has been scrapped.
Delta Diablo Sanitation District dropped the idea to build a 327-foot-high turbine on its property on the Pittsburg-Antioch border because of community concerns, technical reasons and the cost of purchasing the energy. The turbine would have been visible for miles.
After vetting the idea with Antioch and Pittsburg leaders and residents, the district continued to look at financing options and how much energy the project would save.
“In the end, we felt (the wind turbine) didn’t meet our desire for our long-term goals and standards,” said Dean Eckerson, Delta Diablo principal engineer.
Delta Diablo will install solar panels to help save energy costs for its plant operations center.
Delta Diablo provides 6 million gallons of recycled water each day to Pittsburg and Antioch to use on their public golf courses, parks and other city landscaping. Recycled water is also delivered to Calpine Corp. for cooling its two natural-gas power plants in Pittsburg.
The goal of the nearly $40 million recycled water project, which started in 2001 at the power plants, is to relieve the burden on water supplies in the Western United States, including the Delta.
Delta Diablo would have entered into an agreement with Foundation Windpower to build, operate and maintain the turbine. The district would have bought the power the turbine generates at a lower
cost than it currently pays PG&E to power the facility.
Some Antioch and Pittsburg leaders who were skeptical about the turbine proposal earlier this year are more pleased about the solar option.
“That one single piece of equipment seemed a little out of place in that spot. I’m excited to hear they are looking at the solar option; it’s not as sightly,” Antioch Councilman Gary Agopian said.
Said Pittsburg Mayor Will Casey: “I think it’s probably a good idea. I mean, let’s face it, it would be an eyesore.”
The city did not have much say over the design because the turbine would have been located on the district’s property in Antioch, he said.
Wind turbines or solar panels should blend into the surroundings as much as possible, Casey said.
The solar power project, which consists of five carport canopies, is expected to be completed in January. It will generate the same amount of electricity required to power 58 homes each year.
A state grant will pay for one-quarter of the $2.3 million project. The project will provide about 80 percent of the operations center’s power.
The power for the recycled water facility next door will still come from PG&E.
Delta Diablo is looking at five other options to conserve energy, increase efficiency and identify and use renewable energy resources for running recycled water.
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