Slayden Constructors, Inc. (Slayden), a division of MWH Constructors, Inc. (MWHC), has been selected by the City of Salem, Oregon, to provide turnkey construction services for the $13 million Willow Lake Cogeneration Facility Upgrade project. Construction on the project is slated to begin in February 2019 with completion by mid-summer 2020.
Originally constructed in 1988, the Willow Lake Cogeneration Facility is one of 11 facilities in Oregon currently using biogas to produce clean, renewable energy from the byproduct wastewater treatment. Cogeneration facilities recover biogas to produce two types of energy, heat and electricity, which offer operational efficiencies, cost savings and environmental benefits.
“It is a privilege to partner again with the City of Salem on the Willow Lake Cogeneration Facility Upgrade project,” said Ryan Imel, project manager at Slayden. “This project is a great example of innovation in renewable energy and environmental stewardship and our commitment to helping clients achieve their energy goals to positively impact the community.”
The current cogeneration system generates up to 650 kilowatts (kW) of electricity and can no longer process the amount of biogas being produced. The upgraded cogeneration system will more efficiently and reliably generate up to 1,200 kW of electricity, nearly 50 percent of the total electricity needed to operate the Willow Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant for a year, or enough energy to power 900 homes. The treatment plan provides wastewater services to residents in the cities of Salem, Turner and Keizer.
“This upgrade is expected to reduce the amount of pollution-causing gases released into the atmosphere by 5,000 metric tons and will save the City of Salem more than $300 thousand per year in energy costs,” said Jeff Garner, senior vice president at MWHC and managing director of Slayden. “The project is a perfect example of our commitment to ‘Building a Better World’ and we’re pleased to be working with such a progressive city in providing a positive environmental and economic impact.”
As the prime contractor, Slayden will provide the entire project scope and will be self-performing demo, civil, concrete, mechanical and piping.
The groundbreaking for the project took place earlier this month and was hosted by Salem, Keizer, and their funding partners, Portland General Electric (PGE) and the Energy Trust of Oregon. The ceremony was attended by Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett, Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark, Peter West, director of Energy Programs at Energy Trust, and Bill Nicolson, senior vice president of Transmission and Distribution for PGE.