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April 6, 2011

GE water-recycling technology to help power plant meet stricter emissions limits

Dorothy Lozowski

GE’s (Trevose, Pa.;  zero liquid discharge (ZLD) wastewater-recycling technology will be installed at the Russell City Energy Center (RCEC), a new 600-megawatt (MW) natural gas and steam combined-cycle power plant being built in Alameda County, Calif. RCEC is the first power plant in the country to be built under a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to meet stricter limits on greenhouse gases and other emissions, says GE. The plant is expected to enter commercial service in 2013 and supply energy to the San Francisco Bay region. The RCEC project is jointly owned by affiliates of Calpine Corp. and GE Energy Financial Services.

As part of the plant’s arsenal of technologies to improve overall energy efficiency and reduce the plant’s environmental footprint, GE is supplying lead contractor Bechtel with its ZLD system for onsite wastewater treatment and recycling. GE‘s 400-gal/min brine concentrator and mixed-salt crystallizer will utilize a skid-mounted design to help Bechtel reduce field construction costs. GE’s ZLD equipment is scheduled to be delivered between the fourth quarter of 2011 and first quarter of 2012.

Power plants are major industrial consumers of water to support their operations — chiefly for power plant cooling, steam production and other production processes. As international communities seek to preserve the world’s dwindling fresh water supplies, the public and the private sectors have begun collaborating more closely to increase the deployment of industrial-water-recycling technologies.

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