What to do with the mounds of construction debris that clog up about 30% of our nation’s landfills?
The best option is to recycle them as many LEED-certified buildings do, but turning local, hard-to recycle materials into energy is also a good option as this Connecticut project will.
We’re not crazy about growing plants specifically for energy, such as switchgrass or willow trees, especially considering recent research, so a plant being built in Plainfield, Connecticut is a better option – it will convert readily available construction and demolition (C&D) debris, recycled wood pallets, and land clearing materials in to energy.
Plainfield Renewable Energy is building a $225 million plant on a brownfield (former Superfund site) that will generate 37.5 megawatts of energy, enough to power 37,000 homes. It should be operating at the end of 2013.
It’s being financed by SAIC (NYSE: SAI) and the Carlyle Group. SAIC is also providing engineering, procurement, and construction services for the project.
Connecticut Light & Power will purchase the energy under a 15-year power purchase agreement.
"It will create 400 green jobs, bring more than $800,000 per year of tax revenues to the town, and increase the supply of electricity to the region. It represents exactly the type of renewable energy projects that the state should attract," says Town of Plainfield First Selectman Paul Sweet.