WASTE-TO-ENERGY NEWS
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.

WTE Would Receive Permanent Benefit under Obama Energy Plan

President Barack Obama today called on the country to refocus the nation's energy production on renewable sources. He specifically called for a permanent extension of the section 45 production tax credit for renewable resources, including waste-to-energy. Speaking in Florida, Obama said that this year's rising gasoline prices highlight the need to move to more renewable sources of energy.  "If we're going to take control of our energy future; if we're going to avoid these gas price spikes down the line, then we need a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy - oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, and more."

SWANA Releases White Paper on Economic Strength of WTE

On January 9, the Solid Waste Association of North America released a white paper titled “Waste-to-Energy Facilities Provide Significant Economic Benefits”. The purpose of this white paper is to illustrate the financial success of waste-to-energy operations throughout North America. Waste-to-energy is a reliable and renewable form of energy that has become the basis for many of the most successful solid waste management systems in North America. More than 80 waste-to-energy plants throughout the United States have allowed municipalities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and waste to landfills, while providing significant financial benefits to their communities.  The paper highlights a number of economic benefits communities achieve by investing in waste-to-energy such as additional revenues generated from the sale of recovered metals and renewable energy. These revenue streams have been used to fund other solid waste activities as well as loan re-payment.   A copy of the white paper can be found here.