SMUD gets funding for renewable energy

U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, said Friday that the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and local partners will receive $5 million in federal grant funding from the Department of Energy for the development of renewable energy technologies.

The funds were authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Matsui said the funds will go toward installation of California’s first “solar highway,” a co-digestion facility and three anaerobic digesters.

The nation’s first solar highway made its debut in Oregon last year, with the installation of photovoltaic panels along roadside land in the Portland suburb of Tualatin. That highway is expected to generate about 128,000 kilowatt-hours a year.

Co-digestion is a process using food waste and sewage to produce biogas. Anaerobic digesters also produce biogas and can be fed with plant material.