- Minnesota's Hennepin County is set to vote on a lower bid from local company Great River Energy to run the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) in Minneapolis from March 2018 to June 2019, as reported by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
- Covanta has operated the waste-to-energy facility for decades, but the county hasn't been satisfied with the results of roughly two years of contract negotiations. According to county officials, the company brings in about $1 million per month from the facility.
- Per the current contract Covanta could retain its business at the facility if it wants to match a competitor's offer. The company would have 30 days to agree to the terms negotiated by Great River Energy if it chose to do so.
Hennepin County inherited the contract with Covanta when it bought the facility. While the facility has been targeted for closure by environmental activists, that outcome seems unlikely. The HERC processes up to 1,000 tons of residential waste per day and uses some of the energy to heat Target Field — home of the Minnesota Twins.
Covanta is one of the county's largest vendors and said it hopes to retain that position.
"It is surprising to us that after providing what we believe to be fair market-based proposals, that the county would choose a vendor without experience operating the technology employed at the HERC," said James Regan, Covanta's director of communications and media relations, in the Business Journal. "We have not seen the contract that has been negotiated with another operator, but we look forward to reviewing it and ultimately we hope to continue our successful partnership with Hennepin County."
In other company news, Covanta recently announced its intentions to close a facility in Pittsfield, MA before the contract's expiration date due to economic conditions. The company was also ranked 55th on the new "Clean200" list of major companies that are profiting from alternative energy.