Project Info COMPLETE Project Title
Wastewater Treatment SB1383 Compliance CharacterizationProject Number ET22SWE0031 Organization SWE (Statewide Electric ETP) End-use Process Loads Sector Public Project Year(s) 2022 - 2023
California’s approximately 500 wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) within the IOU territories offer utilities significant untapped potential for process-based energy savings and load optimization related to both existing operations and planned expansions and capital investments. One key driver of near-term capital investments is related to California’s SB1383 Landfill Diversion legislation compliance. As of 2025, in an effort to limit short-lived climate pollutants, wastewater treatment plants in California will be prohibited from trucking biosolid sludge to dumps in regional landfills. With a pending compliance deadline, impacted plants are currently considering the costs and benefits of various compliance solutions, which can include investment in onsite biosolids management technologies and strategies, complete plant redesigns required to achieve targeted levels of sludge moisture content and treatment, and regional collaborative concepts. Each of these compliance solutions comes with significant energy, cost, carbon and non-energy implications and trade-offs that are not well understood by plants, especially understaffed small, medium and rural agencies, and those in disadvantaged communities. Certain promising emerging technologies for SB1383 compliance appear to offer significant energy and carbon reduction benefits over more typical strategies but have near zero market penetration and would benefit from further study. However, an up-to-date baseline characterization of compliance strategies is required in order to properly size the market, understand baseline strategies under consideration for various types of WWTP, and to enable future savings claims for new ET measures that support compliance. AESC proposes to perform a characterization of the various SB1383 compliance solutions under consideration or in planning by California’s WWT plants of various sizes and operational characteristics. AESC will work with industry partners and solutions providers to classify compliance strategies by plant size, treatment type, and other key drivers/limitations, and characterize each in terms of relative energy consumption, DR and load management potential and fit, biogas generation/cogeneration impacts, carbon impacts, trucking/transportation impacts, and other co-benefits (creation of beneficial byproducts, etc). Based on the results, a survey and sampling plan will be developed to deploy to a cross section of California’s plants to assess baseline compliance strategies being contemplated by plants. These baseline findings will serve to prioritize technology focus areas, highest priority emerging technologies, establish savings and market size potential, and inform future measure and workpaper savings estimates and claims. A secondary project deliverable will be a decision support tool matrix/and or model that classifies energy and non-energy implications related to various compliance pathway choices. This can be used by utility account representatives, WWTP, design firms, cities, regional collaboratives and consultants in the near term as an aid to help agencies understand energy and non -energy implications of compliance pathways. The matrix will be organized by size and treatment typology, and will include targeted information for rural, hard-to-reach agencies that can be distributed through specific identified project partner networks that work in California’s most remote and rural regions.