ATLANTA — Siemens is providing critical power infrastructure technology to upgrade the Chicago Department of Water’s South Water Purification plant that will save the city up to $4 million a year in energy and maintenance costs. The technology, including medium-voltage switchgear and control, low-voltage switchgear and power transformers, will allow the plant to distribute power more efficiently to key process points throughout the plant to keep water flowing. Together with the James W. Jardine Water Purification Plant, these two plants provide nearly one billion gallons of clean, drinkable water from Lake Michigan daily for over five million Chicagoans and 125 surrounding suburbs.
“Delivering fresh water to a city the size and scope of Chicago is an enormous undertaking and relies on the purification plants that bring this water from Lake Michigan to operate as efficiently and reliably as possible,” said Kevin Yates, president of Siemens Energy Management. “We’re proud that Siemens technology will help the City of Chicago modernize their essential water infrastructure while saving energy and maintenance costs in the process.”
Siemens engineers worked with project partners to integrate the technologies into one single solution that allows for rapid responses, enabling the plant to operate more efficiently.
In 2012, Siemens worked with the City to convert the Springfield Avenue Pumping Station from traditional steam turbines and boilers to cleaner, more energy efficient electric pumps. Siemens also installed power infrastructure equipment as part of the project which included panelboards, switchboards, switchgear and busway systems. The infrastructure upgrades resulted in approximately $7.5 million annually in energy and operating cost savings. According to the Department of Water, the pumping station reduces carbon emissions by 17,380 tons each year, based on current water pumping rates, equivalent to taking 2,888 vehicles off of the road.
The upgrade began in May 2016 and will be complete later this year.
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