ERC Commends President Obama for Renewable Focus

The Energy Recovery Council, along with the Biomass Power Association and the National Hydropower Association, today praised the Obama Administration’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2014. The budget contains a provision to permanently extend the production tax credit (PTC) for renewable energy sources.  “This is just the kind of policy that our industry needs to grow and thrive,” said Ted Michaels, President of Energy Recovery Council. “Extending the PTC for renewables is a responsible step that helps our country establish stable, reliable, domestic, and diverse sources of energy.”  A permanent PTC extension would be a major boon to the biomass, hydropower and waste-to-energy industries, as it would provide the stability and continuity that will help attract private investment for facilities that are proposed or under construction. It also signals greater long-term federal support for the development of renewables. Historically, the credit must be renewed every few years, which can cause financial uncertainty. 

WTE is an Economic Force in Connecticut

A report was released this week by Eileen Berenyi of Governmental Advisory Associates highlighting the total statewide economic contribution of waste-to-energy in Connecticut ($428 million).  The six waste-to-energy plants in Connecticut employ 381 workers, who earn $32.7 million in wages, salaries and benefits.  In addition, there are 558 additional full time equivalent jobs that were created in Connecticut outside the WTE sector, with those employees earning $27.4 million in wages, salaries and benefits.  Therefore, total direct and indirect jobs in Connecticut sustained by the waste-to-energy industry equals 939 full-time equivalent jobs with $60 million in wages, salaries and benefits.

Green Conversion Systems Will Operate the Pinellas WTE Facility

Green Conversion Systems (Rye, New York) has completed the acquisition of the operating contract for the Pinellas County (FL) waste-to-energy facility from Veolia ES North America.  The facility has the ability to process approximately 3,150 tons per day of municipal solid waste and generates approximately 75 megawatts of renewable electricity for sale to Progress Energy.  Thomas (Tommy) Murphy, with twenty six years of experience in the Energy from Waste field, will transition from Veolia to join GCS.  Murphy’s goal, in joining the senior GCS team led by founder and Chief Executive Officer Marc McMenamin, will be to lend his considerable experience to GCS greenfield development activity and maximizing the opportunity provided by the Pinellas acquisition.  Green Conversion Systems is a privately owned developer and now operator of energy from waste facilities in North America and the Caribbean.  GCS was founded in 2008 and is the exclusive North American technology partner of Fisia Babcock (FBE) headquartered in Germany.

ERC Asks the President to Support Renewable Tax Credit Changes

The Energy Recovery Council joined with other renewable trade associations in sending a letter to President Obama asking him to support legislation that would allow renewable projects that have "begun construction" prior to the placed in service date to qualify for the Section 45 renewable energy production tax credit.  Many renewable power projects are unable to move forward because developers and investors are concerned that those projects cannot be completed before the renewable electricity production credit expires.  This is particularly true in the case of waste-to-energy,  biomass, hydropower, and geothermal facilities, which have longer development, permitting and construction timelines than wind energy facilities. Legislation that will allow renewable projects to go forward based on when construction begins is a major policy improvement that will allow many more clean energy projects to move forward during the statutory duration of the Section 45 Production Tax Credit.

ERC Applauds Senate Finance Committee on PTC Action

The Energy Recovery Council and three other renewable energy trade associations today commended a 19-5 vote by the Senate Finance Committee this week to extend and enhance production tax credits (PTCs) for all renewable energy sources. The tax credits are essential for the development of waste-to-energy and other clean energy-generating facilities by offsetting the high cost of construction. Yesterday’s action by the Committee will give renewable baseload technologies equitable access to this important program by allowing eligible facilities to qualify for the tax credits when construction is commenced. 

“The Energy Recovery Council commends the Senate Finance Committee for including important changes to the production tax credit that will allow all renewable technologies to benefit from this important program,” said Ted Michaels, President of Energy Recovery Council. “Modifying the definition of placed in service will provide more opportunities for waste-to-energy facilities to utilize the renewable tax credit, which will in turn drive sustainable waste management practices in the United States.” 

Baseload energy sources – which provide consistent power independent of external factors like weather or time of day – particularly rely on PTCs at a time when fuel costs are high and electricity prices are low.  These sources of energy combined produce almost 75% of the nation’s renewable electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The Biomass Power Association, the National Hydropower Association, and the Geothermal Energy Association joined ERC in the joint statement.