Increased Energy Efficiency at Deer Island Treatment Plant

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Partners with SourceOne to Increase Efficiency at Deer Island Treatment Plant. Installation of a 1.1 megawatt waste heat powered Back Pressure Steam Turbine Generator will reduce energy consumption, costs and environmental impacts

Boston, MA. — Veolia Energy North America, a leading operator and developer of energy efficient solutions, announced that SourceOne, its energy management and consulting services subsidiary, has completed a major project with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) to improve the efficiency and overall performance of the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The Deer Island plant is considered the centerpiece of MWRA’s $3.8 billion program to protect Boston Harbor against pollution from Metropolitan Boston’s sewer systems.

“As a large energy consumer, MWRA’s Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant is a perfect candidate to identify and implement cost-effective solutions to drive efficiency and increase performance,” said Vincent Martin, President of SourceOne.  “The MWRA has fully embraced sustainability and energy efficiency by implementing energy savings measures as well as Distributed Generation projects.  Deer Island uses several DG technologies and is a great example of how technology can help meet customer needs.”

Deer Island energy-efficient infrastructure upgrades include:

  • A waste-to-energy boiler plant that uses methane from the wastewater treatment process to generate steam for space heating and treatment process requirements
  • One 18,000 kW back pressure steam turbine generator (BPSTG)
  • Two 600 kW and one 100 kW wind turbine generators
  • Two 1,000 kW hydro turbine generators
  • 700+ kW photovoltaic paneling on facility rooftops

In addition to its existing upgrades, MWRA identified an opportunity to improve efficiency by modifying the existing BPSTG (back pressure steam turbine generator) to a condensing unit, yielding more power for each pound of steam generated.  However, this solution required delivery of steam to the plant for its use and to supply a heat loop.  SourceOne worked with the MWRA to install a new 1.1 MW BPSTG that would exhaust at 15 psig and serve the plant and the heat loop, while generating additional power.

SourceOne focused on developing a conceptual design to integrate this additional power source and select a Design Build firm to complete the design, install the additional equipment, and commission the equipment for MWRA’s use.  The installation of this new generator will enable the MWRA to take advantage of excess heat produced in the summer, as well as enabling other process efficiency improvements.  In addition to making the larger generating unit more efficient, it will also generate additional power from the waste heat that can be used productively as “free” energy for the facility.

The MWRA’s Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant treats an average of 350 million gallons of wastewater each day from 43 communities in greater Boston and is one of the largest electricity users in the Northeast.  By maximizing energy efficiency and deploying renewable sources, such as using methane from the plant’s bio-digesters to produce power, Deer Island currently self-generates 22 percent of its electricity needs and it will increase that number to 25 percent in 2012.   


About SourceOne

A subsidiary of Veolia Energy North America, SourceOne is a nationally recognized energy management and strategic advisory services company, providing support to businesses who view energy as critical to their operations, offering a strategic, customized approach to utilizing available resources, and generating new solutions.  With offices in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Hartford and Chicago SourceOne manages more than 900 megawatts (MW) of electric power, 3 bcf of natural gas, and $500 million of utility bill processing.  

About Veolia Energy North America

Based in Boston, MA, Veolia Energy North America is a leading U.S. operator and developer of energy efficient solutions.  The company is part of the Veolia Environnement companies in North America, with 30,000 North American employees.  Visit the company’s Web sites at and    

About Veolia Environnement

Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) is the worldwide reference in environmental solutions. With more than 315,000 employees, the company has operations all around the world and provides tailored solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in four complementary segments: water management, waste management, energy management and passenger transportation. Veolia Environnement recorded revenue of $46.5 billion in 2010.