FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City Council received an update on Tuesday by the Department of Environmental Services on revised plans for a community greenhouse operation, to be powered by renewable energy generated by the Noble Hill Landfill Renewable Energy Center, adjacent to the City’s Landfill.
In 2011, a Renewable Energy/Sustainable Food Project Feasibility Study indicated that the Energy Center produces enough waste heat to potentially support a four-acre commercial greenhouse operation. It is the City’s goal to utilize the waste heat and buffer land in a smart, innovative way that creates jobs, educational opportunities, and economic growth for the community.
The Energy Center was developed in 2006 by the City and City Utilities of Springfield to convert captured methane gas into electricity. With the use of two engines, the captured methane gas is used to generate approximately 3.2 Megawatts of renewable electricity, enough to power approximately 2,100 homes.
As a byproduct of the Noble Hill Landfill Renewable Energy Center, the facility creates an estimated 14 million Btu/hr of thermal waste heat energy generated by the engines. In addition, the City owns approximately 50 acres of land adjacent to the Noble Hill Landfill Renewable Energy Center which is currently being used as a buffer to the Landfill.
Following interest from potential partners, including local growers, educational institutions, local markets, non-profits, and private businesses, the City has modified a previously-released request for proposal (RFP) soliciting proposals to lease the City property adjacent to the Renewable Energy Center and construct a facility to utilize the waste heat.
The modified RFP encompasses input received from growers, community leaders and future partners over the last several years and allows an adequate 120 days for proposal submittal. The updated RFP also requires proposals to meet seven specific project goals:
- Utilize the waste heat
- Produce fresh, local produce
- Provide education and job training resources
- Serve as a resource for local food pantries
- Provide local job development
- Provide satisfactory infrastructure terms
- Provide innovative community benefits
No tax money is included in the funding of this project.
About the Noble Hill Renewable Energy Center
The Noble Hill Renewable Energy Project is a partnership between the City of Springfield and City Utilities. It began delivering electricity to CU customers in May 2006. Methane gas produced by the Springfield Sanitary Landfill is harnessed by two large generators, providing 3.2 megawatts of electricity to about 2,100 customers.
The joint project uses a previously discarded byproduct to produce energy for the community. However, as these engines produce electricity, they are also generating heat.
In 2011, the City received a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Transform Missouri Initiative, and administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, to conduct market research and a Renewable Energy/Sustainable Food Project Feasibility Study.
In 2013, the City held multiple community involvement sessions, engaging numerous business and community leaders and gathering input. In 2016, following years of community-wide discussion, the City issued an RFP soliciting proposals from potential partners to lease the City property adjacent to the Renewable Energy Center and construct a facility to utilize the waste heat. No response was received.
Utilizing this renewable energy power source provides cost savings and helps the environment by reducing fossil fuel emissions, providing businesses with a stable source of alternative energy, and improving air quality.
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For more information, please contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected].