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ACUA receives New Jersey Governor's Environmental Excellence Award

ACUA has been awarded the prestigious 2011 New Jersey Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards in the Clean Air category. This is the State's premier environmental awards program for recognizing outstanding environmental performance, programs and projects in the state. These awards recognize individuals, businesses, educators, institutions, communities and others who have made significant contributions to environmental protection in New Jersey.

ACUA’s Clean Air award recognized the combined impact of many of its renewable energy and alternative fuel intiatives which have lead to significant environmental benefits, specifically reductions in greenhouse gases emitted.

In 2010 the ACUA used 22,244 MWh of electricity to power its solid waste and wastewater facilities. Of the 22,244 MWh 15,729 or 71 percent of that electricity came from renewable sources generated onsite.

The ACUA’s solid waste facility, located in Egg Harbor Township, is host to a 5.4 MW  landfill gas to energy project, which provides 100 percent of the electricity needed to power the facilities operating in ACUA’s 360 acre Environmental Park. This project captures methane, a potent greenhouse gas created from the decomposition of waste in the landfill, combusting it to create electricity. This not only prevents harmful emissions from escaping the landfill, but also displaces the emissions associated with generating electricity from typical fossil fuel sources.

The ACUA’s wastewater treatment facility in Atlantic City has both a 500 kW solar array and 7.5 MW wind farm located on site. In 2010 the treatment plant received 66 percent of its power from wind and solar.

By replacing a total of 15,729 MWh of electricity with renewable power from its landfill gas, solar, and wind systems the Authority has eliminated over 5,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2010.

In addition to the use of renewable energy, the ACUA also has been aggressive in implementing the use of alternative fuel vehicles. Since 2004 the Authority’s recycling and solid waste collection fleet has been running on biodiesel (B5). In 2010 the ACUA’s collection fleet and other diesel powered vehicles used approximately 438,000 gallons of B5 biodiesel fuel. The use of biodiesel in place of traditional diesel fuel was able to reducing vehicle emissions by 215 metric tons of CO2.

After researching its potential environmental and economic benefit, the Authority committed to transitioning its fleet of collection vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). In May of 2010, the ACUA’s first five CNG vehicles were put into service fueling  with a temporary compressor until November of 2010 when the Authority’s CNG fueling station was opened. The ACUA’s CNG station is used by other fleets in addition to the Authority’s vehicles. In 2010 the ACUA dispensed over 16,000 gasoline gallon equivalents of CNG fuel between is own fleet and other customers. The use of CNG resulted in a reduction of approximately 60 metric tons of CO2.

The ACUA also utilizes two electric vehicles at its wastewater facility, and maintains three charging stations at its two facilities. A Ford Ranger EV pickup truck and GEM utility vehicle are used by facility maintenance staff at the property. Both vehicles charge exclusively from the solar array at the wastewater site and therefore are truly zero emission vehicles.

In total, the ACUA eliminated over 5,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2010 by replacing a total of 15,729 MWh of electricity with renewable power from its landfill gas, solar, and wind systems.

The award will be presented on December 8th at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.

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