- Annapolis, MD-based Energy3, who designs, operates, and finances municipal energy models, is working to negotiate a long-term contract to haul Monroe County, FL's organic material to a proposed waste-to-energy gasification facility elsewhere in Florida. County officials will review the process on Jan. 20, then make a decision on whether they want to make the waste-to-energy deal.
- Energy3 would completely finance the gasification facility, and be required to launch within 30 months.
- While no fee scale has been released, the company’s system in Pennsylvania carries costs from $10 million for a small community to $180 million for a large metropolitan area, with Energy3 financing the project over a 10- to 25-year period, as of 2013.
Disposing of waste in a gasification model reduces disposal costs and frees up landfill space, while converting those wastes into renewable electricity and fuels.
Energy3 had a prior relationship with Monroe County as the area's yard waste hauler, transporting the yard waste to Moore Haven, FL and saving the county $100,000. Now the company is pitching the waste-to-energy proposal, explaining that it would be especially advantageous for their tropical region, which Energy3 chief marketing officer Patrick Saty said "probably has the most sensitive ecosystem in North America."
"They're really concerned about climate change. Any change to the global temperature and rise to the level of the ocean affects everybody. But it really affects them because so much of the entire county is at or near sea level," said Saty.
Rhonda Haag, director of Monroe County’s Sustainability program, has visited the company’s plant and thinks gasification could be the way to go.
"We want to do what we can to reduce greenhouse gas impact, and this was one of the things we can do. That's why this proposal scored the highest, because of reducing greenhouse gas impact and of course, because of the reduced costs,” she said.