Seoul city government will reduce rental charge by 88% by revising the ordinance for using sewage facilities.
It will actively attract investment in solar photovoltaic power, fuel cell, small hydropower and biogas power generation facilities.
Public sewage treatment facilities and water purification plants, which have been regarded as unwelcomed facilities, are turning into cores of renewable energies, such as solar photovoltaic power and bio-gas power generation. Particularly, The Seoul City Government actively moves to attract renewable energy facilities by reducing rental charge for using facilities by 88% for renewable energy companies.
The Seoul city government announced the draft revision of ‘ordinance for using sewage facilities in Seoul City’ that stipulates to reduce rental charge for using facilities by 88% for installing renewable energy facilities in public sewage treatment facilities. The revised ordinance will be proclaimed in December this year after collecting opinions of citizens and being passed by the Seoul Metropolitan Council.
Under the current ordinance for using sewage facilities, renewable energy facilities in public sewage treatment facilities are paying rental charges in the amount equivalent to 8% of the annual land price as it is classified as the ‘use of facilities for other reasons’. But when the revised ordinance is passed by the City Council, renewable energy companies may pay rental charges in amount equivalent to 1% of the land price, sharply exempting rental charges by 88%.
The Seoul city authority decided to reduce the rental charges because it believes that renewable energy facilities may not affect sewage treatment as most of renewable energy facilities are installed at upper part of sewage facilities and underground spaces. In addition, the city authority took account of the fact that facilities for sewage heat, small hydropower and biogas power generation are those for alternative energies connected with sewage treatment facilities, and that they are businesses for public interest rather than for generating profits.
And the city authority also expects to build win-win relations between the public sector and private companies through the revised ordinance as it can gain revenue of 3 billion won annually by selling digestion gas by installing biogas-based combined heat and power generation facilities at water recycling centers.
When charges of renting public sewage treatment facilities are reduced, it is expected to attract renewable energy facilities, such as those for biogas-based combined heat and power generation, solar photovoltaic power, fuel cell and small hydropower generation. That is because financial burden of private investors, including companies subject to the renewable portfolio standard (RPS), will be reduced, leading to improve economic efficiency.
Currently, renewable energy facilities, such as solar photovoltaic and biogas power generation facilities, are installed at water recycling centers in Seoul, and they generate 30% of energy needed for these centers.
And the city authority aims at fully supporting energy by water recycling centers by 2020 by installing fuel cell power generation and small hydropower generation systems as well as sewage heat collecting systems at these centers.
Other local governments are also expanding or installing solar photovoltaic power and biogas-based combined heat and power generation plants at water purification and sewage treatment facilities. Incheon City recently built a 1.47MW solar photovoltaic power generation system on top of sedimentation basin of the Gongchon Water Purification Plant in addition to the one installed at the Susan Water Purification Plant.
Also, other local governments, including Ansan City (Ansan Water Purification Plant), Yangpyeong County (integrated water purification plant) and Yeongwol City (Yeongwol Water Purification Plant) installed solar photovoltaic power generation facilities at these water purification plants. In addition, Daejeon City, Changwon City, Cheonju City and Chungju City are also actively moving to install solar photovoltaic power generation and combined heat and power generation facilities at their water purification and sewage treatment plants.
As for the plan of installing renewable energy facilities at water purification and sewage treatment plants, Gwon Gi-ok, Water Management Policy Officer at the Seoul City Government, said, “The city will turn water recycling centers into renewable energy cores by actively attracting private investments with reduced facility rental charges, which had served as restrictive factors.”