Technology

Fayetteville PWC and Bloom Energy to transform waste into clean community electricity

By Staff Report, posted 3 weeks ago

The Fayetteville Public Works Commission announced its plans to install 1.5 megawatts of solid oxide fuel cells today. 

The project will allow for multiple gas waste sources to generate renewable energy while reducing emissions, which falls in line with Fayetteville’s goal to meet the state’s clean energy standards. 

The project is one of the first of its kind, and as data shows that waste generation will likely increase by 70 percent by 2050, this new project will offer renewable energy in ways that aligns with PWC’s current efforts. 

The cell installation will be located adjacent to PWC’s P.O. Hoffer Water Treatment Facility and will use biogas from the Cross Creek Water Reclamation facility. 

Near the P.O. Water Treatment Facility is the former industrial site of Texfi – one of North Carolina’s most polluted sites from residual industrial pollution and contaminated groundwater that poses a threat to the Cape Fear River Basin. Upon the approval of the state budget, $220,000 was allocated to PWC to clean up the contaminated water, which was matched by PWC. The pilot technology will be implemented for full-scale remediation efforts if it is successful. 

“Once cleaned up, plans call for a 250-acre park to be developed into the state’s second Cleanfield Renewable Energy Demonstration Park, where renewable energy resources like Bloom Energy’s fuel cells will be located,” a press release said. 

The fuel cells are made by Bloom Energy, a California-based company with a leading solid oxide platform for distributed generation of electricity and hydrogen.

“Producing resilient and renewable energy from waste sources is a critical component of decarbonized and sustainable circular economy,” said Chuck Moesta, vice president, gas, Bloom Energy. “Our waste-to-energy solutions are garnering increasing interest from communities and municipalities. We look forward to bringing this innovative project alive with Fayetteville's municipal utility, setting an important example for other communities around the U.S. wishing to transition to clean, carbon-neutral energy.”

The cells will use biogas from the Cross Creek Water Reclamation facility, an adjacent landfill, and methane gases from farms to produce clean, carbon-neutral electricity. 

PWC anticipates that the project will meet power demands equivalent to more than 1,000 homes. 

“PWC is excited to collaborate with Bloom Energy to bring a first-of-its kind clean energy project to our community to serve our customers,” said Elaina Ball, CEO and general manager, PWC. “This project is an anchor for the broader plan to remediate and establish a Cleanfields Renewable Energy Demonstration Park in the community.”

 

“This is an innovative project that addresses both our challenging renewable energy mandates and one of the state’s largest industrial polluted sites,” said Ball. “We are excited that the project not only brings creative solutions but numerous other benefits including producing renewable energy, cutting power costs and productive use of local waste gases.”

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