The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said Nov. 6 that it has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to redevelop a waste-to-energy facility in Hartford as well as other facilities that have been operated by the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) – formerly known as the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority (CRRA).
Through the RFP process, MIRA will make available its sites, facilities, and contracted tonnages of solid waste for the development of a new system, which can include the use of new technologies to assist the state in achieving its materials management goals. Following the selection of a final proposal, DEEP will direct MIRA to enter into agreements with the selected developer to undertake the project.
The draft RFP invites proposals for a range of technologies to upgrade or replace the present system of facilities, including technologies that separate organic materials from waste for more efficient processing through anaerobic digestion, composting, or other waste conversion processes. The amount of waste combusted at the facility is expected to be significantly reduced. Responses are due March 1, 2016.
The Hartford facility is operated by MIRA and is now known as The Connecticut Solid Waste System Resource Recovery Facility (CSWS). It has been in operation since 1988 and is permitted to process 888,000 tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) per year. It currently receives MSW from approximately 50 of Connecticut’s cities and towns.
The facility is on an 80-cre site near the Hartford Regional Market and Brainard Airport. Solid waste is processed into a fuel for two 45-MW steam turbine generators that produce power offered on a daily basis into the ISO New England market.
Other MIRA facilities covered by the draft RFP are the Regional Recycling Center at 211 Murphy Rd., Hartford, and transfer stations in Watertown, Torrington, Essex, and Ellington.
DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said: “This RFP is a reflection of a series of conversations with the community of Hartford and others around the state. Ultimately, the project will provide quality jobs to Hartford and surrounding towns, help to keep our air, land, and water clean, and help the state meet its goal to dispose less and recycle more.”
The technologies that may be included in RFP responses include:
- Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs)
- Mixed Waste Processing Facilities (in order to process MSW post-source separation for increased recovery of recyclables)
- Anaerobic Digestion
- Processes that convert waste to fuel, chemicals, electricity or other usable products
- Combustion with advanced thermal recovery after 60% diversion
The sites are available for the project and the developer may see benefits to using the existing sites. However, the DEEP is open to proposals that would close some facilities and/or identify new sites. The expectation is that the entirety of the project will be financed by the developer. Towns and other customers will then pay service fees (i.e. tipping fees) to the project, as they do now. The RFP gives preference to proposals that will keep tipping fees stable and competitive in future years. The ongoing first phase casts a wide net for qualified developers. Finalists will then be required to submit more detailed proposals, including feasibility studies.