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Guide to Energy Independence

BESP: The District’s Guide to Energy Independence

Biosolids & Energy Strategic Plan - Strategic Investments Now to Reduce Future Costs

The Goleta Sanitary District’s Strategic Plan calls for the effective management of existing equipment, and the proactive investment in new capital improvements to maximize ROI (return on investment) and reduce future operating costs. One of these efforts that began in 2018 is the implementation of a Biosolids and Energy Strategic Plan (BESP).

 If you are a GSD customer you’ve been hearing about the District’s plans for the Biosolids and Energy Plan for some time now, and there’s a good reason for that! Pressures from changing conditions, regulatory mandates, and cost increases spurred the District to start looking at ways to cut expenses in the treatment of biosolids to accommodate these changes. We took a strategic data-driven approach to identify the best improvements to meet our goals.

But the FUTURE IS NOW. Knowing that pressures are mounting, we took advantage of record-low rates and acquired a low-interest loan. This means we’re launching the first step WITHOUT RAISING RATES This summer work begins on the new digester and combined heat and power generator installation. We’ve invested (and will continue to invest) in the future to reduce future costs now.

To learn more about our plan and our strategic approach to innovation,  check out the link below.

The District adopted a comprehensive Biosolids and Energy Strategic Plan (BESP) which provides us with a roadmap to energy sustainability in a phased timeline. The focus of the BESP is to implement the best combination of biosolids treatment, disposal, and energy recovery improvements to reduce ongoing operational expenditures and move us towards energy neutrality. The first phase includes the construction of a new digester, biogas conditioning facility, and a combined heat and power (CHP) system to convert the biogas generated through the treatment process into energy to power our facilities. These improvements allow us to be less reliant on grid power and save money for our ratepayers and capacity partners.

We have finished the design of our Phase 1 project and have sent out the environmental document for public review.  Construction of the Phase 1 improvements is scheduled to start in early 2023 and be completed in 1 year.  We have initiated the preliminary design of the BESP phase 2 project and are considering ways to accelerate its completion.  The completion of phase 2 of the BESP is expected to occur by 2030 at the latest.


The main objective of the BESP is to provide a biosolids and energy roadmap and strategy for GSD to reach energy-sufficiency by reassessing their biosolids management practices in combination with numerous energy production approaches (energy generation, utilization, storage, and renewable energy sources). The planning horizon is established for year 2043.


For more information, please read the summary document below and the Mitigated Negative Declaration documents as well. The public comment period has closed.


Although the public comment period has closed, if you have any questions or comments you may submit comments in writing to the District at our headquarters, 1 William Moffett Place, Goleta. If you'd like a response please include your name and address. Thank you.


  • Mission:

    We protect public health and the environment through cost-effective wastewater collection, treatment, and resource recovery to meet present and future community needs.

  • Vision:

    To be the Region’s Leader in Water Resource Recovery through Excellence and Innovation.

  • Values:

    We value our Community, the People we Serve, and the Environment we Protect by: Acting with Integrity, Being Dependable, Being Responsible, Being Safe and, Being Innovative.