The Iberdrola group is a public, multinational, electric utility company based in Spain, known for their leadership in energy production. Iberdrola took the lead construction and development role of two new identical green energy biomass facilities in British Columbia, Canada. One biomass plant is situated outside the City of Merritt, which is 270 km northeast of Vancouver, located at the confluence of the Nicola and Coldwater Rivers within the Nicola Valley. The other biomass facility is in Fort St. James, which is a former fur trading post in north-central British Columbia, roughly 600 km North of Vancouver, located on the southeastern shore of Stuart Lake.
These two green energy, sustainable plants generate a combined capacity of 80 megawatts of electricity from local biomass fuel, relying on a combination of sawdust and timber residuals collected from local saw mills, and harvested dead pine from woodlands that have been affected by the pine-beetle. These facilities supply electricity to over 160,000 homes and are expected to prevent the emission of 570,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
When designing these new industrial sites, protection of the local watersheds and maintaining the sustainable nature of these facilities was decidedly important. Ensuring stormwater runoff was treated at the highest protection level throughout the year was paramount.\
Imbrium’s engineers worked with the Langley Concrete Group and the Iberdrola Group to design a Jellyfish Filter within each facility to provide a high level of stormwater treatment. With both industrial facilities having a similar site layout, the Jellyfish units were located out of the way of normal plant operations, with ease of accessibility in mind for inspection and maintenance. They were positioned within the site’s drainage network to provide stormwater treatment for roughly one hectare of drainage area, collecting runoff from either side of each site.
Each Jellyfish unit was designed to provide treatment from the site’s roadways and parking lots, removing pollutants generated from daily plant operations, and in-and-out vehicle traffic. After runoff is treated by the Jellyfish Filters, stormwater is discharged into large 280 m3 on-site concrete holding tanks, where detention and sediment monitoring occurs before being released back into the local rivers.
Being an industrial site, the Jellyfish Filter treatment systems are managed, inspected and maintained by trained plant personnel on a schedule, ensuring they operate as designed, considering the site’s anticipated pollutant load. “We inspect the Jellyfish units every two months. Currently the devices are working as they should,” says Jonathan Oyarvide, Mechanical Commissioning Manager.
It was important to reassure the local communities that these new industrial, sustainable developments implement proper treatment systems to maintain protection of their local watersheds. For these green energy facilities, the stormwater treatment choice was the Jellyfish Filter.