Waste-to-energy (WtE) technologies are processes designed to convert waste materials to useable energy in the form of electricity, heat, or both. The energy is generated in most cases directly from combustion or through the production of combustible fuels, including synthetic fuels, methanol and ethanol.
HSAGolden specializes in the following waste to energy technologies:
• Landfill Gas (LFG)
• Anaerobic Digestion
Waste-to-Energy Facility Site Selection
Whether your WtE project involves incineration, pyrolysis, gasification, anaerobic digestion, or another WtE process, site selection is a necessary and critical project element. Site selection involves an often-complex series of challenges and opportunities that involve research, an ability to seamlessly interact with a bevy of regulatory and governmental agencies, and a proven track record of success. The engineering firm that undertakes the project must be staffed with highly qualified engineers, scientists, planners, and support personnel who possess a solid understanding of the entire process.
Site Selection Challenges
Each WtE project presents unique challenges. Following are just a few of the challenges an engineering firm might negotiate in the site selection process:
- A steady and consistent supply of waste (fuel) is critical to project success. The site location must be convenient to waste haulers.
- The type of waste must be considered. Each waste has its specific biological, environmental and logistical characteristics. Factors such as waste uniformity, odor, and processing equipment needed will influence site development.
- The waste will require storage, handling, and processing, and the site must not only accommodate these activities, but provide reserve capacity for times when additional waste is available or for facility expansion.
- Real estate cost can, of course, make or break the project.
- Political concerns are unique to each location. For example, a community that has a long history of environmental activism would almost certainly present challenges.
- Permitting requirements involve both detailed knowledge of the permitting process and a solid working relationship with the governmental and regulatory agencies. For example, regional air permitting requirements may make a project unviable.
- Site geology must be suitable to support structures, waste stockpiles, and the like.
- It’s imperative that the engineering consultants have developed their own extensive database of information gleaned from their own experiences in project management, design and site selection. They should also have access to shared data/intelligence from national, state, and local agencies.
- The flexibility to stay on top of new and emerging technologies to assess the potential value and utility of these.
Additional Things to Consider
- Regional and community tax bases should be considered; it might be much less expensive to operate a facility in Kentucky than Southern California. What’s saved in tax expenditures could be used for operational costs.
- Plant accessibility and the ability to draw upon a readily available workforce are key concerns.
Please find below some of our waste-to-energy projects for which we’ve been retained over the years. Some are complete, and some are ongoing. We’re always adding more projects, so please check back from time to time.