Improving Energy Efficiency and Performance of Wastewater Recycling

1 Documents in Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Energy Commission
Document Title
Improving Energy Efficiency and Performance of Wastewater Recycling
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The objective of the proposed project is to advance the science and engineering of algae wastewater treatment systems, to enable current and future California wastewater plants to reduce net electricity consumption while improving plant performance and lower overall costs. The RNEW® (Recycle Nutrients Energy and Water) process, being further developed by the present project, follows-up on prior and recent research supported by the US DOE, and would be applied to new, or retrofitted to existing, wastewater treatment plants. The technological and scientific knowledge being advanced by this project are the controlled operation of intensive high-rate algal ponds for year round wastewater treatment. This includes low-cost harvesting of the algal biomass by a combined algal settling and membrane separation for recovery of energy, fertilizers and reclaimed water. The primary market that will be impacted by the RNEW® technology will be the water/wastewater treatment markets. California IOU ratepayers will benefit from annual electric power savings, lower costs for wastewater treatment, and reduced environmental impacts overall, including from electricity generation. Additionally, algal wastewater treatment benefits local communities by reducing odors typically produced by conventional wastewater treatment. In addition, the low profile and reduced need for machinery improves the aesthetics of the facility.

Contact Information

Benson Gilbert
Agency Name
CA Energy Commission
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Agency Name
MicroBio Engineering, Inc.
Contact Types
Project Applicant


Delhi, Templeton, San Luis Obispo
Merced, San Luis Obispo
Other Location Info
35 Prado Rd, San Luis Obispo, 93401 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, 93407 8668 Pinewood St., Delhi, 95315 1347 Shane Lane, Templeton, 93465

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
S: 15301, 15303
Reasons for Exemption
Section 15301: This project will demonstrate algal wastewater treatment and reuse, of nutrients at three existing wastewater treatment facilities. All three facilities currently house wastewater treatment equipment and have hosted previous experiments for algal wastewater treatment. The RNEW® technology to be installed and operated is expected to integrate with the existing piping equipment at all three sites as a beneficial add-on for efficient wastewater treatment. Section 15303: This project will install limited numbers of new, small structures appurtenant to three existing wastewater treatment facilities.


Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. To obtain an attachment in a different format, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at or via phone at (916) 445-0613. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Site.

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