October 8, 2015
JOHNSTOWN, NY - The economic boom in the yogurt and other industries has positively impacted the Gloversville-Johnstown region over recent years. With continued expansion at the FAGE USA yogurt plant in Johnstown, the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility has been in need of an upgrade. With the assistance of a $500,000 Economic Development Grant from National Grid and assistance from New York State, a multi-year $7.2 million upgrade to the facility has now tripled its capacity to treat wastewater up to 1 million gallons a day, and do so in a new, innovative and environmentally-friendly way.
The innovative process being employed by the plant will create additional biogas to generate electricity to be exported to the electrical system, providing additional revenue for the towns. On July 31, the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility became the first facility in NYS to officially export power to the grid.
“Working together, we were able to defy convention with this project,’ said Eric Pond, Vice President of Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C. “Instead of undertaking a costly expansion of the treatment plant, we were able to repurpose existing plant components to treat the new high strength waste stream. And instead of consuming more power, the plant is self-sufficient and its waste-powered generators now push surplus electricity to the grid. This is certainly a win-win for everyone involved.”
The process, called Contact Adsorption Settling Thickening (CAST), uses existing tanks and waste activated sludge from the existing aeration process to absorb influent organic waste load, allowing for higher volumes of wastewater to be processed each day.
“The CAST Upgrade project provided the treatment facility with an innovative, energy efficient process to pre-treat waste from two local dairy industries,” said Tyler Masick, Acting Manager of Wastewater Programs, Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment. “The project also expanded the facility’s cogeneration system, which turns renewable biogas energy into
electricity, making Gloversville – Johnstown Wastewater the first wastewater treatment facility in
New York State to become net positive. Overall the project was a win-win-win; a win for local industry growth, a win for Fulton County economic development, and a win for the treatment facility’s environmental impact.”
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
encourages and promotes sources of renewable energy and efficiency to provide cleaner, more reliable and affordable to people in New York, an ideal that is the cornerstone of this grant, which also encourages local economic growth.
“Our design of the Renewable Energy in Economic Development creates collaboration between the renewable developer and host, a local economic development agency and a college or university,” said Arthur Hamlin, Director of Economic Development for National Grid. “This project is a good example of that collaboration, which is the product of a memorandum of understanding between the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth, Fulton Montgomery Community College and the GJJSTF”.
The additional treatment capacity will accommodate higher production at the FAGE USA plant, which just completed a $150 million dollar expansion to its Johnstown plant.
“Helping the treatment facility to expand its capacity in an environmentally responsible way will help FAGE and others bring more jobs and growth to the community,” said Bill Flaherty, National Grid’s regional director. “National Grid was there to support FAGE when they opened several years ago, and we continue that support today with this grant. This support will improve local infrastructure, renewable energy generation and encourage economic development.”
The expansion at FAGE has created 150 new jobs to accommodate the increased production. Additionally, the increased treatment capacity will positively impact Euphrates Cheese, the largest manufacturer of Domestic Feta Cheese on the East Coast, located on Johnstown Road.
“The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, created by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2011, has enthusiastically supported the expansion of FAGE yogurt in Johnstown – including support for this vital and innovative wastewater treatment project,” said Ken Tompkins, Regional Director for Empire State Development. “FAGE’s arrival and growth in Upstate New York has been a welcome boon to our dairy industry. Of course, the new wastewater treatment facility will also enable the establishment and growth of other new employers in Gloversville and Johnstown areas.”
“NYSERDA applauds our partners, National Grid, FAGE USA and the Gloversville-Johnstown facility, for helping to grow clean energy in New York State while promoting the expansion of a major upstate manufacturer. This project is an example of how Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy is building a cleaner, more affordable and resilient energy system for all New Yorkers,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA.
National Grid’s Renewable Energy and Economic Development grant program awards businesses and organizations like the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board for projects that bring together the region’s educational and research capabilities to create innovative renewable energy solutions that help create local jobs.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.
Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities' long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization).