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Waste to Energy Study

The waste-to-energy (WTE) market study will identify the type of WTE systems that would be best suited for the quantity and content of the combined Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), yard waste and municipal raw sewage generated by the City of Omaha. 

The scope is expected to include an evaluation of WTE systems that are

  • commercially available
  • have technical and economic operating records
  • can offer performance and operational guarantees 

The technical consultant will be asked to identify a range of opportunities and then evaluate them against the following set of criteria:

  • What are the capital and operating costs, estimated based on the information provided by the vendor and adapted to the conditions existing for Omaha? 
  • What is the commercial status: is it in operation; for what length of time and how successful has it performed; what type of warranties and maintenance services are available? 
  • What is the number of units that have been sold and deployed commercially?
  • Is the system considered proprietary and normally supplied turnkey by one vendor; can it meet city procurement regulations? 
  • Is system designed to accommodate liquid waste or sludge as well as MSW and yard waste? 
  • What are the requirements for utilities, water, land, buildings, etc.? 
  • What will be the environmental impact on surrounding residential and business population, i.e. noise, odors, traffic congestion, hours of operation? 
  • Will there be special permits needed, public hearings, or special legislation? 
  • Who will own and operate the facility, can the city lease or contract out the operation? 
  • What is the required number of employees to operate the final plant, level of operating skills? 
  • Can the plant be expanded to receive MSW from other entities? 
  • What is the energy balance (energy in versus energy out), how easily can the electricity produced be added to grid? 
  • Are utilities in the area amenable to acquiring additional power for distribution?
The selected systems will be described in detail, including a discussion of each of the above criteria. The final report to the City of Omaha will recommend three systems for detailed feasibility analysis.

Status: In Progress

HDR was the consultant selected by the City to complete the study.  As of May 23rd, 2012, a Waste Characterization, Technology Selection & Screening, Technology Features & Distribution, Facility Cost Evaluation, Financing, Siting and Impact Analysis, and a BCA have all been completed.  The entire project should be completed by the end of May with the consultant making a final presentation to City staff the first week in June.


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