NAWTEC 2014: WTE capacity developments

Several WTE projects are underway in North America to increase and build new capacity.

May 28, 2014
REW Staff
The North American Waste-to-Energy Conference (NAWTEC) held its 22nd annual conference in Reston, Virginia, in early May. During the opening plenary session, Ted Michaels, president of Washington, D.C.-based Energy Recovery Council (ERC) shared data from the 2014 ERC Directory of Waste-to-Energy Facilities.  
According to the directory, 84 Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facilities in 23 states have the capacity to process more than 96,000 tons of waste per day with a baseload electric capacity of 2,769 megawatt hours. Four facilities are inactive and one is under construction. Of the 84 facilities, 64 are mass-burn, 14 are refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and seven are modular. 
Michaels said the industry is “very much operating its existing capacity smoothly.”
During another session titled “WTE Capacity Development,” several WTE facilities shared the approaches they are taking to expand capacity. Patrick Carroll, director of facilities management for the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County,  West Palm Beach, Florida, reported that the authority’s new WTE facility, which will be its second facility, is 78 percent complete. The project, which includes three 1,000 tpd boilers, has a total price tag of $674 million. The facility is expected to open in 2016. 
Peel Energy Recovery Centre  is building a new WTE facility in Durham, Ontario. The Peel Energy Recovery Centre is expected to be operational in November 2014 and will be operated by Covanta, Morristown, New Jersey. HDR, Omaha, Nebraska, provided the environmental assessment, communication and procurement services. Gioseph Anello, manager of waste planning and technical services for the Regional Municipality of Durham, said it had been 20 years since a facility had been built in Ontario. 
“One of our biggest challenges was our regulators,” Anello said. The facility will be built to process 300,000 tons per year of Peel’s residential garbage to produce useable energy such as steam or electricity, and to recover recyclable metals.
Matt Clark, senior vice president of RRC, Maple Grove, Minnesota, shared details on the firm’s expansion of the Perham Resource Recovery Facility (PRRF) in Minnesota. RRC is the engineer on the project, which includes the addition of a waste heat boiler, air pollution control equipment and plant systems to increase the facility’s combustion capacity. The project includes a new materials recovery facility (MRF), which will recover ferrous and nonferrous metals, plus other recyclables, prior to combustion. Clark said the 100 tpd expansion cost $29 million. “You can build a small project at a competitive cost,” he told attendees. 
Jim Warner, CEO of the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA), Lancaster, Pa., discussed the authority’s purchase of the Susquehanna Resource Management Complex (SRMC) from the city of Harrisburg, Pa., in what is considered the first public-to-public acquisition of its kind.
The city of Harrisburg was in receivership for $370 million in debt that included debt incurred from the facility. LCWMSA negotiated a deal with the receiver to purchase the WTE facility for $130 million. The authority closed on the deal Dec. 23, 2013. The deal included a 20-year tipping fee schedule for Harrisburg waste generators that starts at $190 per ton and gradually increases to $260 per ton. Dauphin County waste generators outside of Harrisburg must pay from $80 per ton to $120 per ton during that same time period. 
The deal included a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services. LCWMSA is investing $22 million dollars in improvements to SRMC which includes 59 acres of land. The authority is now managing 900,000 tons of waste per year, according to Warner. He said because of the transaction LCWMSA now has a AA Standard & Poor’s credit rating. 
NAWTEC was held at the Hyatt Regency in Reston May 7-9, 2014.