skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Opportunities and Challenges for Water and Wastewater Industries to Provide Exchangeable Services

Water and wastewater treatment plants and distribution systems use significant amounts of energy, around 2 - 4% of the total electricity used in the US, and their energy use is projected to increase as populations increase and regulations become more stringent. Water and wastewater systems have largely been disconnected from the electric utilities' efforts to improve energy efficiency and provide energy efficiency and provide grid services, likely because their core mission is to provide clean water and treated wastewater. Energy efficiency has slowly crept into the water and wastewater industry as the economic benefit has become more apparent, but there is still potential for significant improvement. Some of the larger, more progressive water utilities are starting to consider providing grid services; however, it remains a foreign concept to many. This report explores intrinsic mechanisms by which the water and wastewater industries can provide exchangeable services, the benefit to the parties involved, and the barriers to implementation. It also highlights relevant case studies and next steps. Although opportunities for increasing process efficiencies are certainly available, this report focuses on the exchangeable services that water and wastewater loads can provide to help maintain grid reliability, keep overall costs down, and increase themore » penetration of distributed renewables on the electric grid. These services have potential to provide water utilities additional value streams, using existing equipment with modest or negligible upgrade cost.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Country of Publication:
United States
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION water treatment; wastewater; grid services; exchangeable service; electricity grid; energy efficiency