El Dorado's Water Reclamation Facility has added a new feature to the El Dorado skyline, a wind turbine standing 326 feet tall at blade tip. The new wind turbine was erected Monday, September 10th, just one day shy of the 11th anniversary of 9/11. The lofty wind turbine can be seen from every entrance into the City and lets people know, El Dorado believes in renewable energy.
In 2008, the El Dorado Wetlands and Water Reclamation Facility won the National Environmental Project of the Year award from the American Public Works Association. At this time, staff began to look into other opportunities to become more self sustaining and environmentally responsible. The City applied for and was awarded two grants, totaling $1.1 million, from the Department of Energy and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The grants covered about one half of the cost of constructing the 1 megawatt wind turbine.
The return on investment is about 6-7 years and the turbine has a 20 year life. Depending on Westar's escalation of rates, the turbine will save the citizens of El Dorado $5-8 million over the life of the turbine. When the wind is blowing, the turbine will produce all of the energy required to run the advanced wastewater treatment facility. Excess energy will go back on the power grid and sold to Westar Energy.
The turbine is an impressive structure, the base tower rises to a height of 230 feet and has a diameter of 10 feet. On top of the tower is the nacelle, the part of the turbine the blades attach to. The nacelle weighs 50 tons, which is about the weight of 25 cars. The nacelle houses the gearbox, generator, weather station and communication equipment for the turbine. The blades are 90 feet each, weigh 4.5 tons and spin at a blade tip speed of about 160 mph. The wind turbine is designed to start spinning at about 8 mph and produces a maximum amount of electricity at 35 mph. The last ten feet of the blade tips rotate to brake the wind turbine when wind speeds exceed 56 mph.
The start up or commissioning process should begin September 17th and we should be producing electricity by late September. We will have a ribbon cutting ceremony at a date to be determined in October.
New warranty program available to City of El Dorado residents.
To see how El Dorado's Sewer Rates compare across the State, click on Sewer Rate Comparison in the left sidebar.
Have you heard? El Dorado won the American Public Works Association's "Environmental Project of the Year" award for the El Dorado Wetlands & Water Reclamation Facility.
Ongoing: The Public Utilities Department is responsible for the City's water, including supply from El Dorado Lake, treatment and distribution. It is also responsible for sewer, including sanitary sewer collection and treatment at the El Dorado Wetlands & Water Reclamation Facility.
The El Dorado Water Reclamation Facility is the feature article in the February 2011 addition of the Treatment Plant Operators magazine. Click the link at the left and go to page 22 to read the article. Congratulations Jason Patty and staff!
The mission of the El Dorado Public Utilities Department is to provide the citizens of El Dorado with a broad spectrum of Utility services, including: a fiscally sound drinking water production facility; proactive maintenance and enhancement of the water distribution system and sewer collection system; and a wastewater treatment facility that produces an effluent that meets or exceeds all state and federal regulations.