COVINGTON, Tenn. — LaVergne, Tenn.-based PHG Energy is making Tennessee a greener place, by turning waste into energy. PHG signed an agreement with the city of Covington, Tenn., to convert waste to energy by using PHG’s downdraft biomass gasification equipment and technology.
By using the gasification method, Covington will be able to reduce landfill and transportation fees for 360 total tons of previously landfill-bound waste materials, according to a statement. The system works by converting a wide range of waste materials to a low-emission substitute for natural gas or other fossil fuels. Covington will use approximately 12 tons of waste per day to convert into energy.
“We looked closely at a PHG gasification facility in a nearby city, and thoroughly vetted the company before entering into this agreement,” said Mayor David Gordon in a statement. “This system is a terrific financial solution to transportation costs and tipping fees we’ve been paying to get rid of waste, and keeps thousands of tons of material out of landfills each year.”
Covington has been awarded a $250,000 Clean Tennessee Energy Grant from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau for the waste-to-energy system.
“Covington may be a small city, but we’re constantly looking toward the future in our thinking and planning,” said Gordon. “We want to embrace technology that fits our situation, and this system lets us turn waste into an opportunity. Working with PHG is a win-win for Covington. It helps our environment and it helps our city financially. Simply put, we’re doing the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason.”
The biomass gasification plant will be built on city owned property, adjacent to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Utilizing the gasification system will prevent the release of 425 tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year by reducing energy usage related to waste water treatment, as well as fossil fuels used in waste disposal transportation, according to a statement.
The total cost of the project is $2.25 million, with $2 million of funding obtained through the Tennessee Municipal Bond fund in the form of a general obligation bond issue. Construction will begin in November of this year and take several months to complete. Not only is the city excited for the new system, but PHG is also ready to introduce its technology to Covington.
“Mayor Gordon and the city’s aldermen deserve credit for having the foresight to implement a solution that helps the environment and makes good financial sense,” said Tom Stanzione, president of PHG Energy in a statement. “By eliminating the fees associated with transporting and disposing of these waste products, and supplying electricity to the plant, this system will provide Covington a substantial net savings during its operational lifetime.”