A $250,000 matching funds grant has been awarded to The City of Lebanon to assist with construction of a new waste-to-energy facility that will reduce landfill usage and provide clean electrical power. The funding comes from the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant program administered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).
The biomass gasification plant can convert as much as 64 tons per day of wood waste, sewer sludge and used tires to electricity for use at Lebanon’s waste-water treatment plant on Hartman Drive. The city contracted with PHG Energy of Nashville in February of this year to construct the facility. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the City of Lebanon Wastewater Treatment Plant on November 12 at 11:00 a.m. Completion is expected in mid-2016.
“Receiving this grant is very exciting for our city,” Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead said. “It further validates our decision to pursue an aggressive clean energy and innovative waste disposal direction. There has been a terrific amount of cooperation between our staff, Wilson County, local industries and state officials during this development process. This is the second governmental financing source we have been able to employ. Funding for the project has already benefited from a federal program that covers 70% of the interest cost for our bond issuance.”
That federal program is the Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECB) initiative that provides for repayment of a large portion of interest costs to government entities that implement qualifying energy and greenhouse gas reduction projects.
“We are proud to be funding a second large-scale biomass gasification plant through our Clean Tennessee Energy Grant,” said Kathy Glapa of TDEC’s Office of Sustainable Practices. “The City of Covington and City of Lebanon have each received the maximum amount of $250,000 while leveraging nearly $5.5 million from the Grantee. Both the facilities reflect the engineering and installation capabilities of PHG Energy. That company has been instrumental in the success of these systems and will help these communities see large financial returns for years to come, in addition to using local waste for energy.”
Funding for the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant program originated from a federal court settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) under the Clean Air Act that resulted in TVA providing the state $26.4 million over a period of years to fund designated environmental mitigation and energy projects carried out by municipal, county and other government agencies. TDEC was chosen to manage the selection process.
The Lebanon project will deploy what PHG Energy believes is the world’s largest downdraft gasifier. The new design has been vetted through a rigorous testing process for more than two years at PHGE’s research facility. A standard PHGE gasifier can convert up to 12 tons of feedstock per day to fuel gas, while the Lebanon model will process up to 64 tons per day without substantially increasing the footprint of the plant.
Once completed, the project will mark the 14th gasifier installation for PHGE. The company’s first municipal installation was commissioned in Covington in 2013. Prior deployments of the thermo chemical process were for industrial brick manufacturing clients in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee to replace natural gas usage by cleanly converting wood waste to what is called producer gas or synthetic gas.
To date, PHG Energy has:
* Installed 13 commercial gasifiers in both industrial and municipal settings, and logged tens of thousands of hours in production time.
* Acquired multiple intellectual property assets and a municipal gasification plant from Florida-based MaxWest Environmental Systems, Inc. in January of 2015.
* Demonstrated its ability to produce renewable electricity, 1 MW from a Caterpillar generator, from scrap wood chips at its test facility in Gleason, Tennessee, and sold electricity back to the grid as a part of the TVA Generation Partners Program.
* Collaborated with GE Power and Water to develop a combination of technologies to create power with the use of GE’s Clean Cycle heat-to-power generator.
* Consolidated the company's operations by purchasing the intellectual property of Associated Physics of America and bringing its scientific and production personnel on board with PHGE.
* Commissioned new integrated technology at a waste-to-energy plant in Covington, Tennessee.
* Obtained five new patents on the company’s downdraft gasification technology.
For more information regarding PHG Energy, please visit www.phgenergy.com or contact Nancy Cooper at 615-471-9093.
PHG Energy, based in Nashville was formed in 2010 to develop, manufacture, and install industrial- grade downdraft gasification systems. The technology employs a non-burning thermo-chemical process in which waste materials or renewable biomass is cleanly converted to a fuel gas with combustion properties similar to natural gas. The fuel can be utilized for thermal applications, such as kilns or boilers, or used to produce electricity. PHG Energy is a private company owned by a Nashville family that has operated a large regional Caterpillar dealership for over 70 years.