Wilmington energy project expected to create jobs and save millions

The City of Wilmington may soon be moving forward with the second phase of its $50-million Sustainable Energy Initiative which involves the construction of a Renewable Energy Biosolids Facility.

 

This will all take place at the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant on Hay Road, which is considered to be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions due the burning of the methane. However, the new project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35%. Construction of the facility will even convert renewable fuel into electricity and heat at the Hay Road Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“The green improvements at the Hay Road Plant represent another significant step towards building a more sustainable future for Wilmington residents,” said Mayor Baker. “New Castle County residents, who send waste to the City’s plant and help to subsidize its operation, will also see a savings from this project.”

In addition to saving money for residents it will also save some for the city and create about 100 construction jobs for local workers who will build the Renewable Energy Biosolids Facility, according to the mayor.

Officials say the Renewable Energy Biosolids Facility right now is only half of Wilmington’s overall green energy program. Phase I of the Sustainable Energy initiative started with the construction of a booster pumping station at the Porter Plant to decrease operating costs; installing arrays of photovoltaic cells; using high-efficiency light-emitting diodes (LED) in traffic signals ; and the installation of energy efficient lighting and HVAC equipment in all City-owned properties. Both phases when combined will save Wilmington about $1.5-million.

In the meantime, Mayor Baker said he is hopeful that City Council could take a final vote on the project by July. If all goes well after a City Council Finance hearing and meetings, the Renewable Energy Biosolids Facility should be completed by early 2014.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.