US Virgin Island Waste-to-Energy Plants Could Close Their Landfills
St Thomas will get one of two power plants to be built, photo: F Mira via flickr
US per capita energy usage is pretty much the highest in the world -- and it's five times higher than average in the US Virgin Islands. Not to mention that it all comes from oil-fired generators. But hopefully not for too much longer. Cleantech reports that two new waste-to-energy facilities have been been just announced for St Croix and St Thomas: Alpine Energy Group of Englewood, Colorado plans on build 49 MW worth of waste-to-energy plants -- using 146,000 tons per year of municipal solid waste to generate steam and electricity.
The plants won't, however, be entirely powered from waste: Alpine's plants will combine waste with petroleum coke -- in other words, decidedly not as clean as it could be.
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However, US Virgin Islands governor John deJohngh said that the plants could eventually lead to the closure of landfills on the islands, noting that this is a "step in the right direction in terms of addressing ...concerns that have been raised since the 1970s about the state of our landfills, which has been the subject of both consent order and fines by the Environmental Protection Agency."
He added that this will be the "first time in Virgin Islands history that fossil fuel has not been used to generate electricity and potable water."
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