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City approves waste gas study

What is currently produced as waste gas at the Jamestown wastewater treatment plant may soon be used to heat homes or power vehicles.

Joe Regnery, chief chief commercial officer for New Phase Energy, told the Jamestown City Council Monday a study could determine if the amount and quality of waste gas produced by the Jamestown treatment plant were sufficient to make gathering, cleaning and injecting the gas into a natural gas pipeline feasible.

New Phase Energy is a green energy development company from Colorado.

The City Council approved proceeding with the study at a not-to-exceed price of $22,500. If the city of Jamestown agrees to proceed with the project, a second phase of the study would be conducted at an additional $40,000 cost to prepare data that could be used by engineers to design a gas treatment plant.

Waste gas produced at the treatment plant is currently flared. Regnery said removing the water, hydrogen sulfide and other chemicals from the gas results in a gas that could be injected into the natural gas pipeline that runs adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant.

Because the gas is created from a renewable source, the city of Jamestown could be eligible for "green credits" which would raise the value of a decatherm of natural gas from its normal rate of about $2.50 to over $27 per decatherm.

Regnery said they would determine if the project is technically and economically feasible based on testing the quality and volume of the gas. The Jamestown wastewater treatment plant produces a higher than normal amount of waste gas because of the organic materials received for processing from the Cavendish Farms potato processing plant.

Preliminary estimates for a complete processing plant are between $5.5 million and $6 million, Regnery said. Who would actually build and operate the plant is yet to be determined.

In other business, the City Council approved changes to the city sanitation and recycling routes, moving some service from the alley to the street and changing the collection days from five days per week to four days. Jamestown city staff will determine the date for the changes and notify all affected residents of the changes.