The construction of the nation’s cleanest and greenest waste-to-energy power plant took a giant step forward Tuesday, February 24, 2015,/yesterday (February 24, 2015), when First Fire occurred at 1:53 p.m. That is when facility operators began feeding post-recycled municipal solid waste into the first of three processing lines at the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s Renewable Energy Facility 2 (REF 2).
(See Pictures of First Fire)
Further testing of the three processing lines will continue in the coming weeks.
As the most advanced and cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in North America, REF 2 will process more than 1 million tons of post-recycled municipal solid waste each year, while providing power for an estimated 40,000 homes and businesses. REF 2 will reduce the reliance on the SWA’s landfill by up to 90%, while also recycling an estimated 27,000 tons of steel, aluminum, copper and other metals annually after the trash is burned.
REF 2 will be operated in strict accordance with the most stringent environmental emission requirements imposed on any similar facility currently operated in the United States. To do so, construction plans have incorporated Babcock & Wilcox Vølund WaVe™ Grate technology, which will provide for more complete combustion of waste, as well as state-of-the-art air pollution control technologies, including Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) for nitrogen oxides (NOx) control.
The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s Renewable Energy Facility 2 is scheduled to begin commercial operation in Summer 2015 at Palm Beach Renewable Energy Park.
Renewable Energy Facility 2 is the newest component to be added to the SWA’s award winning Integrated Solid Waste Management system. This system includes 6 Transfer Stations that consolidate curbside collection and keeps smaller trucks off our roadways; 1 Recovered Materials Processing Facility that processes all the county’s recyclables for market; 2 (almost) Renewable Energy Facilities that burn post-recycled garbage to create energy; 1 Class I & III Landfill, which is our last resort for garbage disposal; 7 Home Chemical and Recycling Center that safely disposes of or recycles home hazards; 1 Biosolids Processing Facility that turns sludge from flush to fertilizer; and a Greenway Trail System with 300 acres of natural area that includes almost 4 miles of trails and a bird rookery that is home to many listed species (Snail Kite, Wood Stork) and has provided for the environmentally safe and sustainable recycling and disposal of all the solid waste generated in Palm Beach County for 40 years.
The team of KBR, Babcock & Wilcox and CDMSMITH are the SWA’s design and construction partners in this $670M project. The construction labor force exceeded 900 people, of which more than 24% of the skilled and 80% of the unskilled labor were Palm Beach County residents. In addition, more than $132M in goods and services haves been spent with Palm Beach County businesses and more than $27M expended with Small Business Enterprises.