A new biogas facility by San Antonio Water System and Ameresco, Inc. recently opened at the Dos Rios Water Recycling Center.

The biogas project is the first sustainable project of its kind in the nation, capturing biogas generated during the sewage treatment process and selling it through a commercial gas pipeline. Methane gas is generated by biosolids during the sewage treatment process. Previously, SAWS burned off the gas using flares.

With this 20-year partnership, Ameresco will treat and transfer at least 900,000 cu/ft of gas to a nearby commercial gas pipeline, where it will be sold on the open market. In return, SAWS ratepayers will receive a royalty on the sale of the gas, estimated at USD 200,000 a year, reducing the cost of SAWS operations and keeping rates affordable. SAWS is the first large wastewater utility to partner with a private sector company, Ameresco, to actively sell biogas in the United States.