Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
November 26, 2008

Ria Convery, Communications Director
(617) 788-1105, <>



The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority has made a major commitment to reduce energy consumption at its facilities in an effort to to trim operating costs and to minimize the environmental impacts of its daily operations.

In a recent presentation to its Board of Directors, MWRA staff outlined on-going initiatives as well as new and planned projects.

Across the service area, MWRA is looking at siting new renewable energy projects at as many facilities as feasible while aggressively seeking out any available grant and loan funds for these projects.

The MWRA’s most energy-intensive facility by far is the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, which treats an average of 365 million gallons of wastewater each day from 43 communities in greater Boston. It is one of the largest electricity users in the Northeast.

Deer Island currently self-generates 20% of its electricity needs and more than half of the island’s energy demand is provided by on-site, renewable generation:

  • Methane is collected and used in Deer Island’s on-site power plant to create steam to supply hot water and heat for the facility. That steam is also used to generate electricity.
  • The plant’s hydroelectric facility also harnesses the power of the effluent as it drops into the outfall shaft.
  • A large solar panel array was installed in May on one of the rooftops to generate electricity.
  • A contract was recently awarded for the installation of two 190-foot wind turbines next spring, with the potential of three more to follow.

MWRA’s on-going and new renewable energy programs will ensure that the agency reaches the goal of 30% by 2020 established by Governor Patrick’s Executive Order 484. MWRA received the “Leading by Example Award” from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs last fall for its renewable energy, efficiency, and recycling efforts.


Back to top

Updated June 12, 2009