September 27, 2010

News Release

For Immediate Release

Grant Helps Study Greenhouse Powered by Waste Energy

The City of Springfield has received a grant of $40,000 from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to study the feasibility of using waste heat and electric power from the City’s Noble Hill Landfill Renewable Energy Center (NHLREC) to help expand the region’s locally grown food supply. The grant will be matched by $20,000 from the City’s Solid Waste Management Division Enterprise Fund.

The study will determine the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of using a portion of waste heat and electric power from the NHLREC to heat, cool and power a large commercial greenhouse to be located on adjacent City property.

The NHLREC is a partnership of the City of Springfield and City Utilities of Springfield to capture and use landfill gas as fuel to generate up to 3.2 megawatts of electric power for CU’s Springfield customers. The renewable energy center adjacent to the City’s Noble Hill Sanitary Landfill has been operational since 2006.

“We now have the opportunity to take our renewable energy project to the next level by using a portion of the Center’s waste heat and power to support year round production of high-value produce for markets throughout the region,” said Ted O’Neill, Superintendent of Solid Waste Management with Springfield Public Works.

If feasible, the greenhouse project would be developed and operated as a public/private partnership. The project would contribute to the region’s locally grown food supply, create new year-round “green” jobs, and add economic activity in the region.

“We plan to work closely with and share study results with the region’s agricultural community through Greene County’s MU Extension Service,” said Patrick Byers, MU Extension Regional Horticulture Specialist, who will serve on the study’s advisory board. “If this project is successful, it will complement and strengthen the region’s growing network of commercial greenhouse growers and help expand our region’s home grown food supply.”

“It could also provide our region’s colleges and universities a unique ’hands on’ training center to help grow new ‘green jobs’ and small businesses to support our region’s sustainable agriculture and economic growth,” said Dr. Anson Elliott, head of the Darr School of Agriculture at Missouri State University, who also will serve on the study’s advisory board. Students and faculty from the School of Agriculture will conduct a produce market study for the project.

The City’s grant is one of 17 competitive grants made by the MDNR to public and private entities to conduct resource assessments and feasibility studies of potential new renewable energy projects throughout the state.

“These assessments and feasibility studies will help businesses, governments and organizations make informed decisions about complex renewable energy systems,” said Mark N. Templeton, Director of the Department of Natural Resources.

MDNR distributed a total of $734,498 through the Energize Missouri Renewable Energy Subgrant program. The State’s program is one of several renewable energy projects supported by grant funds received from the U. S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Using Missouri-based renewable resources to generate heat and electricity creates jobs, boosts local economies, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and bolsters our energy security.

Local agencies working with the City’s Solid Waste Management Division include:

Results of the study will be available for public review and comment next summer.

Media contact: Ted O’Neill, Superintendent of Solid Waste Management, (417) 864-2001.

For more information on the Noble Hill Landfill Renewable Energy Center, go to: http://www.cityutilities.net/renewable/noblehill.htm

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1900 • springfieldmo.gov