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GM to Use Energy from Waste to Heat Michigan Plant

Mass burn/incineration, Municipal WTE, Installations and startups

Detroit Renewable Energy will provide steam energy to automaker’s Hamtramck assembly plant.

REW Staff November 21, 2013

General Motors and Detroit Renewable Energy (DRE) have announced a renewable energy project that has been designed to turn municipal solid waste from the Detroit area into steam that will be used to heat and cool portions of GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

When the project is operational, 58 percent of the plant’s energy needs will come from renewable energy, making Detroit-Hamtramck the top GM facility in the world by percentage of renewable energy used, according to the automaker.

“We have 107 landfill-free facilities across the globe that recycle or reuse their waste, with some of it turned into energy,” says Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global manager of renewable energy. “It made sense to explore this option with DRE at Detroit-Hamtramck, given their quality work in helping us manage our energy use at some of our other GM plants.”

DRE is able to process more than 1 million tons of municipal solid waste into electric power and steam while also recycling close to 40,000 tons of metal per year.

“We have a long history of working with GM in providing energy to its assembly plants,” says Steven White, DRE’s chairman and CEO. “To incorporate a sustainable and renewable energy source into the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant adds real value to the value chain.”

According to a DRE news release, the steam pipe will provide 15.8 megawatts of renewable energy to the plant. That figure equates to 12 percent of GM’s overall goal of putting 125 megawatts of renewable energy into its energy portfolio by 2020.

Construction of the new steam line and associated energy infrastructure will begin by the end of 2013 and should be operational during the spring of 2014.

DRE, a member company of Greenwich, Conn.-based Atlas Holdings LLC, helps manage the city of Detroit’s energy-from-waste facility and its underground steam loop, which serves downtown and midtown Detroit.


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