Following growing interest from the community, the City of Springfield has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from qualified applicants to plan, design, develop and operate a proposed community greenhouse and agriculture park operation powered by renewable energy generated by the Noble Hill Landfill Renewable Energy Center, adjacent to the Springfield Sanitary Landfill.
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.
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 newly issued RFP encompasses input received from growers, community leaders and future partners over the last several years and allows 120 days for proposal submittal. The RFP requires proposals to meet seven specific project goals:
- Greenhouse(s) utilizing waste heat from the Noble Hill Energy Center, including back up heat source.
- Provide locally grown, fresh produce for local and regional markets that reduces the region's dependency on imported products.
- Provide education, research and job training opportunities for local schools and higher education institutions.
- Provide a source of locally grown healthy foods to local food pantries.
- Provide local jobs and business opportunities by recruiting Springfield area partners and employees to manage and work at the new facility.
- Provide satisfactory terms for land lease rates, purchase of waste heat and purchase of other utilities.
- Provide other innovative uses of project site(s) and additional community benefits.
For more information and to view a full version of the request for proposal, visit springfieldmo.gov/greenhouse.
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.
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.
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, 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.
# # #
For more information, please contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected].