Case Study Source: The Joint U.S.-Brazil Initiative on Urban Sustainability, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


In 2012, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and the company Ameresco, Inc. announced an agreement to develop and maintain a cogeneration facility at PWD's Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant. This project will use digesters to generate 5.6 MW of thermal energy and electricity from biogas, which occurs as a byproduct of the plant's wastewater treatment. Half of the biogas that is currently generated from sewage at this plant is already used to supply heat to the plant; this project will enable the other half to be used as additional renewable energy for the plant. Over the course of this 16-year contract with Ameresco, PWD expects to save $12 million in energy costs.


This project is intended to reduce energy consumption and avoid biogas flaring, which may result in reduced annual emissions of carbon dioxide. This project may also reduce the need for public expenditure on PWD's energy needs.

  • Estimated Cost: $47.5 million
  • Estimated Benefits: $12 million over 16 years
  • Sources of finance for this project included American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Contact Information

Philadelphia Water Department
Fax: +1 (215) 685-6043
Mail: Office of Watersheds
Philadelphia Water Department
1101 Market Street, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107