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WARRENTON GREEN INITIATIVE PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY.

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Presentation on theme: "WARRENTON GREEN INITIATIVE PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY."— Presentation transcript:

1 WARRENTON GREEN INITIATIVE PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY

2 Background Launched in May 2006 Goal: Become the greenest, most sustainable community How: Do what others are doing and then some Largest reduction of the carbon footprint in the shortest period of time: 50% reduction by 2015 Be the first community to produce its own electricity and fuel from renewable, sustainable resources

3 Government actions leading the way - examples: New aquatic center powered by solar and biogas Waste to energy plant Zoning for walkable, livable communities Business actions following close behind - examples: Green building code Three new office buildings powered by geothermal energy New, 40,000 sq.ft. office building contains 40% recyclable construction materials Household actions right in sync: Town government newsletter, Town Crier, recommends ways to save energy and money: use EnergyStar products install a programmable thermostat let the sun shine in inflate your tires THE PLAN

4 Zero waste - don’t waste the wastes Reduce, reuse, recycle Recycle wastes into energy for sustainability Lead by example and engage the community Getting there from here - examples of ways to reduce GHG: Plant a tree - 2,000 lbs of GHG prevented Turn off & unplug electrical appliances -1,000 lbs annually p/household Wash clothes in cold water - 1,150 lbs annually per household Waste-to-energy plant - 75,000 tons annually Retrofit government buildings - 8,000 tons annually Change traffic lights to LEDs - 2,400 tons annually

5 Local Energy Independence Communities can become energy-independent from wastes and residues found in their own backyards Technology has arrived to efficiently produce electricity and fuel from a variety of wastes There should be enough trash being dumped at the landfill that cannot be recycled to electrify every single home in the community Some towns in Europe are doing this through district heating plants Landfills represent a huge, untapped source of electricity and fuel 300 million tons of MSW and 300 million tons of C&D are dumped at landfills That’s 30 million homes powered with green electricity or 20 billion gallons of ethanol

6 The President and Congress want 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel, ethanol and biodiesel, by 2020 Corn ethanol and biodiesel only gets us to 20 billion gallons Food vs. fuel debate Ecology vs. fuel debate Communities can fill the gap Local energy production is much more efficient and less polluting than what we have now with large, centralized power plants and immense grid systems Small, 5 MW to 30 MW plants close to the consumer on distributed electricity are more secure, more reliable, and cheaper than 100 MW to 2,000 MW plants The price of trash and wastes is not subject to geopolitics and commodity traders Local Energy Independence

7 LANDFILLS ARE LIABILITIES Turning a liability into an asset: Accumulation of municipal solid waste is a serious problem with worldwide environmental consequences Land is becoming scarce and landfills are filling up –For example, one of the L.A. county landfills will close in 2010 and the best option is to rail the MSW 120 miles into the Nevada desert Burying trash in a hole releases methane gas—24 times more toxic than carbon dioxide—and leachate into the groundwater Every 2 tons of trash buried in a hole emits 1 ton of greenhouse gases –Our small plant will prevent 75,000 tons of GHG

8 How Will It Work? The centerpiece is a public-private partnership A commercial company will build, operate, and maintain the plant The community will provide space for the plant at the municipal landfill Infrastructure is already in place Environmental permits have already been issued Landfill operating expenses will greatly decrease Less trash must be buried Less landfill maintenance will be required The community will realize a profit The sale of locally produced fuel The sale of electricity to the grid Landfill maintenance never ends…

9 What Can Be Used? Almost anything: Household trash MSW C&D Restaurant waste Tree clippings Agricultural residues Sewer sludge Animal manures and wastes Used tires Auto shredded material “Put Warrenton on a low carbon diet.” —Mayor George B. Fitch

10 WASTES & RESIDUES Municipal solid waste –75% to 80% organic; of this: Paper 35% Yard trimmings 13% Food scraps 12% Plastics 12% Commercial debris (construction & demolition) –50% organic; of this: Wood60% Used tires—much higher carbon/BTU (22,000 vs. 5,000 BTU) Restaurant wastes Oil filters High-moisture wastes: –Animal manures, including poultry litter The new Biogas Production Incentive Act should greatly spur this development Sewer sludge The technology is not quite there to be able to combine high-moisture and low- moisture wastes—right now, they need separate operations

11 Preliminary Screening Feedstock Summary Table – 50 mi. radius Feedstock Cost/Benefit MSW9,491,403tons/yr $20 - $30 per ton tipping fee Forest Thinnings426,197dry tons/yr$25 - $39 per ton Forest Residues378,133dry tons/yr$20 - $27 per ton Mill Residues421,628dry tons/yr$10 - $35 per ton Manufacturing and Urban Wood Residues 1,517,437dry tons/yr Tipping fee - $23 per ton Corn Stover456,545dry tons/yr$53 - $60 per ton Switchgrass Potential130,869dry tons/yr$50 - $70 per ton Animal Manures1,241,335dry tons/yr$20 to $30 per ton Resource Potential

12 Primary Mill Wood Residues Potential Key Supplier Companies that showed potential as being key suppliers were contacted directly. Three companies in particular were selected and are listed below. Rock Hill Lumber, Culpeper VA: This company is a sawing and planning mill. They generate 1,000 tons/month of green chips at a price of $24/ton and 700 tons/month of sawdust at $12.50/ton. Delivery costs range between $2.50- $3.00/ton. Rock Hill can offer guaranteed consistent delivery to Warrenton at reduced prices for a steady supply. Merrilat, Culpeper VA: This furniture manufacturing company disposes of a large amount of wood wastes (skids, doors, boards). The material is currently sent to the Culpeper transfer station to be landfilled. Merrilat is very interested in working out a deal with Warrenton for the wood wastes. North American Housing Corp., Front Royal, VA: NAHC constructs modular homes and in the process generates much wood waste. There is no current market for the wastes which are sent to the Front Royal landfill. This company would be willing to negotiate with Warrenton for the material. Monthly wood waste supply estimates are currently being sought from Merrilat and NAHC.

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14 Benefits This not your traditional waste-to-energy plant with tall smokestakes burning garbage. There are hardly any emissions and it is well within EPA and State environmental regulations. The closed loop biomass plant will: generate its own power require not one ounce of fossil fuels produce negligible particulate emissions pay for itself, not require taxpayer dollars make a community energy independent be scalable as more feedstocks are captured not divert food crops like corn and beans to make renewable fuels capture methane leaking from landfills free up space needed for landfills return idle farmaland into production of dedicated energy crops reduce the carbon footprint for the community “Modern” waste-to-energy plant

15 ECONOMICS OF WASTE TO ENERGY A small-scale plant must have negative feedstock cost –The tipping fee must go to the plant Revenues from tipping fees produce almost as much as the revenue from electricity sales Capital costs are very high, so operating costs must be low If we can afford large negative feedstock costs from MSW and C&D, then we can afford to buy other feedstocks like wood chips –If we get paid a tipping fee of $40/ton to take MSW and C&D, then we can afford to pay $25/ton for wood chips Operating costs can be kept low by a low-interest loan from the Rural Utilities Service of the USDA 5% interest and a 35-year term vs. 9.5% interest and 20 years—from private sources—would reduce debt payments by nearly $1 million per year The gasification process yields 1,100 KWH per ton of MSW vs. 300 KWH from traditional mass-burn (incinerator) plants. The plasma process yields 1,500 KWH but at a higher capital cost.

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