LOTT Conservation Project Receives Largest Grant Ever Issued by PSE

BELLEVUE, Wash. (Jan. 12, 2009) – The LOTT (Lacy, Olympia, Tumwater, Thurston County) Alliance was recently awarded a $1.7 million conservation grant from Puget Sound Energy to install a co-generation system at its Budd Inlet Treatment Plant to produce energy and heat from methane gas released during the wastewater treatment process, both organizations announced today.

“Water and energy are inextricably linked,” said Cal Shirley, vice president of Energy Efficiency Services for PSE. “The co-generation project will substantially reduce the amount of energy needed to treat wastewater by using one of the treatment by-products as fuel.”

The PSE grant represents 70 percent of an estimated total project cost of $2.4 million and was based on the projected energy savings. The project is expected to result in an energy savings of more than 2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, enough to power more than 165 Thurston County homes.

Currently, the Budd Inlet Treatment Plant is flaring digester methane gas. Installation of the co-generation project will allow the gas to be used to produce energy and protect the environment by reducing emissions. LOTT worked with the Washington State Department of General Administration (GA), acting as contract administrator, to hire TRANE, Inc., to complete an energy audit at the treatment plant. The audit revealed that the best overall utilization of available digester gas is a combined, high-efficiency co-generation system, including installation of a new gas treatment system, a reciprocating engine with a heat recovery unit, and two small natural gas boilers. The new system will save the facility more than $116,000 per year in utility costs, allow the boiler plant to provide all of the heating required at the site as a “district heating” plant, eliminate the need to flare excess digester gas, and greatly reduce the emissions of the site.

“This co-generation project grew out of our goal to construct a LEED Platinum certified facility with our new Administration/Education Center/Water Quality Laboratory building. The partnership between PSE, LOTT, and GA demonstrates a true commitment to create cleaner, more sustainable communities,” said Doug Mah, president of the LOTT Alliance board of directors and mayor of the City of Olympia.

The project provides a number of benefits, including:

  • Maximizing utilization of the available digester gas and eliminating flaring
  • Providing a “district” heat loop that will also serve the new Hands On Children’s Museum
  • Maximizing energy conservation incentives from PSE
  • Delaying construction of new PSE power plants, which saves all customers money on their energy bills
  • Supporting LEED certification for LOTT’s new Administration/Education Building
  • Reducing energy costs, emissions and pollutants


A groundbreaking event for LOTT’s new Administration/Education Center will take place in early February 2009. Work on the co-generation project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

In 2008, PSE provided more than $18 million in conservation and energy efficiency grants to support 650 projects with businesses and organizations in their service area. Combined savings reached nearly 105 million kWh of electricity and 1.9 million therms of natural gas, enough to provide electricity to 8,750 homes and natural gas to 2,300 homes for a year.Annual PSE awards to Thurston County organizations have typically totaled 200 grants and $1 million each year, and since 2000, programs in Thurston County have saved a total of 60 million kWh and 500,000 therms. Grantees have included:

  • The Evergreen State College in Olympia - $137,500 in 2008 for 227,000 kWh saved
  • St. Peter Hospital in Olympia - $133,000 in 2008 for 297,000 kWh saved
  • Department of Transportation Building in Olympia - $212,000 in 2007 for 605,000 kWh saved
  • St. Martin’s College in Lacey - $201,000 in 2006 for 23,000 therms saved
  • Washington State Natural Resources Building in Olympia - $105,000 in 2004 for 460,000 kWh saved


The LOTT award doubles the utility’s past annual investment in Thurston County, and continued development is planned for 2009.


Lisa Dennis-Perez, LOTT, 360.528.5719
Rebekah Anderson, PSE, 1.888.831.7250

About the LOTT Alliance

The mission of the LOTT Alliance is to preserve and protect public health and the environment by cleaning and restoring water resources for our communities. The LOTT Alliance is a non-profit corporation formed by the Cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater, and Thurston County and is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of one elected official from each of the four partner governments. LOTT provides wastewater treatment and reclaimed water production services for approximately 90,000 people. LOTT owns and operates facilities in all four partner jurisdictions, including the centralized Budd Inlet Treatment Plant, Budd Inlet Reclaimed Water Plant, Martin Way Reclaimed Water Plant, Hawks Prairie Reclaimed Water Ponds/Recharge Basins, three pump stations, and 28 miles of sewer interceptor pipelines. For more information, visit www.lottonline.org.

About Puget Sound Energy

Washington state’s oldest and largest energy utility, with a 6,000-square-mile service area stretching across 11 counties, Puget Sound Energy serves more than 1 million electric customers and nearly 750,000 natural gas customers. PSE, a subsidiary of Puget Energy (NYSE:PSD), meets the energy needs of its growing customer base primarily in Western Washington through incremental, cost-effective energy conservation, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in the energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service to deliver energy that is safe, reliable, reasonably priced, and environmentally responsible.

About General Administration’s Energy Program

The Washington Department of General Administration’s Energy Program is an award-winning national leader for energy-savings performance contracting in public facilities. The program has more than 25 years of experience of providing expertise to a variety of projects throughout Washington. The program has completed over $160 million in performance contracts and has brought $23 million in grants to its clients. General Administration’s program serves state agencies, community colleges, universities, school districts, cities, counties and other municipalities. For more information, visit http://www.ga.wa.gov/energy/index.html.