Sevier Building Organics-to-Energy Plant in Tennessee
Sevier Solid Waste Inc. (SSWI) is building a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., at a cost of $2.25 million.
The facility will convert composted material into thermal energy while also producing a high-carbon biochar. The new biomass gasification plant will be capable of converting more than 30 tons of organics daily.
PHG Energy will build the plant for the Pigeon Forge-based Sevier, according to its news release. The companies expect the plant to open in mid-2016.
SSWI operates a waste composting plant that processes more than 100,000 tons annually from Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The plant processes all their municipal solid waste (MSW), with 60 percent of it made into compost.
The new operation will reduce the carbon footprint of the facility by more than 450 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, according to calculations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“This new installation will help us reduce the amount of compost we need to transport by converting it into a biochar material, creating a new revenue stream for us,” said Tom Leonard, director of SSWI. “The energy from the gasification system will be used in a thermal oxidizer promoting odor control in the buildings and will allow us to defer other upgrades. This represents a significant savings from our current disposal and operating costs.”
Sevier is receiving a $250,000 Clean Energy Tennessee Grant through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).