UM Students Conceive and Pursue Eco-Friendly Projects

University of Miami

Recycling. Food waste management. Reduced electricity usage and on-campus water consumption.

Working together with University of Miami administrators and the university-wide Green U effort, the Energy and Conservation Organization (ECO) Agency creates positive sustainable change on campus.

Created as a result of the Green U referendum passed by Student Government five years ago, the ECO Agency has successfully changed UM business practices in several areas. ECO has worked with UM’s Dining and Auxiliary Services, Housing and Residential Life, Parking and Transportation, Facilities, Athletics and the Wellness Center on initiatives that create positive change for the present and future. The effort is funded by each student with an allocation from the student activity fee to ECO.

The twelve member ECO Agency board is currently led by undergraduate student Josh Lomot and junior Kristin Butler. Both Lomot and Butler want to pursue careers in the environmental field. Lomot will graduate with a master’s degree in ecosystem science and policy and aspires to find a position to use the skills he’s learned studying environmental management, business and policy.

Butler, who prior to coming to UM was a student leader at her high school, seeks a career in environmental law, and is currently pursuing her degree in marine affairs and ecosystem science and policy. 

“Last year ECO Agency accomplished more initiatives than any other student agency,” said Butler. “From the fall 2015 semester to the conclusion of the spring 2016 semester, our environmental campaigns have yielded 24 distinct sustainable improvements to the UM campus. As a student it’s very empowering and exciting to work with a team of people who are equally issue-driven.”

Walk around campus and check out the positive effects on student life brought about by ECO. “We’ve built great relationships with Dining and Housing,” said Lomot. 

Over the years, those relationships with ECO working in partnership with Housing and Residential Life resulted in installing shower heads in the freshmen residence halls to reduce water consumption, while spreading awareness.

Another program, “Weigh the Waste” in partnership with Dining and Auxiliary Services, focuses directly on curtailing the massive amounts of food waste in the dining halls and created awareness about the issue. Co-sponsored with Green U, Food Day in 2015 promoted organic, local and healthy food. Some other projects that ECO has worked on include the solar panels installed and visible on the roof of the Hurricane Food Court. The solar array panels offset a portion of the food court’s energy consumption.

ECO Agency’s focus on education includes the annual week-long Earth Week program leading up to the national celebration of Earth Day every April. The events educate and excite students and encourage students to embrace environmental advocacy. The event is held in the center of UM’s Coral Gables campus and includes many on and off-campus organizations brought together to acknowledge both the beauty of our planet and the threat to the planet posed by human behavior.

Food waste has also been addressed in partnership with Dining Services. In a country where forty percent of all food that gets produced goes to waste, one in four citizens are also food insecure. This is not a problem of food scarcity in America, it is a problem of food distribution.

“By incorporating the Food Recovery Network (FRN), UM students will be able to help bridge the gap between food waste and starvation by packaging and shipping the leftover untouched dining hall food to the local homeless shelter: Miami Rescue Mission,” said senior Meredith Frost, who spearheads the ECO food recovery effort. “Chartwells already recovers thousands of pounds of food a year, however it is now time to get students involved in the process as well. FRN helps tackle issues in both hunger and waste disposal simply by the mechanism of redistribution.”

ECO further reinforces their mission to promote the importance of recycling on campus with student-athletes on many of UM’s sports teams, the stars of a fast-paced video shown on the video boards at Miami Hurricanes football games. The video has already reached more than 100,000 views.

ECO also spearheaded the expansion of LED lighting in campus facilities. The energy-saving effort led to the retrofitting of the Wellness Center to implement the new LED fixtures, a move that in the Centre Court area alone has reduced electricity usage by 66 percent.

“I had a remarkable experience with ECO last year,” said senior Derek Sheldon. “We facilitated a number of big developments around campus to enhance UM’s standing as progressive and a creator of more sustainable practices. I focused on convincing the Wellness Center to install LED lighting over their courts as an energy efficient and cost effective way to reach greater sustainability.”

While UM had already begun retrofitting pathways and parking garage lighting with LEDs, the Wellness Center is an auxiliary facility and therefore had to opt-in to the lighting changes.

“ECO is not like any other organization I’ve been a part of on our campus. Never have I been part of such a passionate, professional, and driven team, where everyone has the same goal—to make the U a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly place to live,” said Lomot. “These changes are not just for the students today, but for the class 2021, 2022, and beyond. As the University of Miami continues to be a center for innovation, I am incredibly proud of what ECO has become over the past five years, and I cannot wait to see what we can do in the next five.”

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How China Wastes Its Renewable Energy


By Kate Gordon and Anders Hove

Kate Gordon (@katenrg) is a vice chair at the Paulson Institute. Anders Hove (@derznovich) is associate research director at the Paulson Institute.

Last year, China was one of the first countries to submit its detailed plan for bringing down carbon emissions as part of the United Nations’ process to address global climate change. China’s Nationally Determined Contribution, or NDC, sets out some impressive goals: peaking carbon emissions by 2030 or sooner; lowering the overall carbon intensity of China’s GDP; and increasing low-carbon energy sources to about 20% of the total energy mix. Both China and the U.S. recently ratified the agreement, putting more legal weight behind these commitments.

Key to turning these commitments into reality is China’s plan to dramatically scale up renewable energy from wind, solar, geothermal and other low- or no-carbon sources. China is already the largest renewable-energy investor in the world, contributing about $102 billion, or 36% of total global investment, to these projects in 2015. (By comparison, the U.S. invested about $44 billion in the same period.)  China is not just putting up the money, it’s putting up the projects, with over 45 gigawatts of new solar and wind capacity developed in 2015.

But there’s a cloud behind this silver lining: China may be the global leader in renewable energy investment, but it’s also the leader in the percentage of that energy that never reaches consumers. China’s wasted, or “curtailed,” wind energy averages about 21% nationally, reaching as high as 40% in some provinces.

If these curtailment figures continue, China will have a hard time reaching its carbon-peaking commitments, or for that matter, any of its international climate goals.

So why is China wasting so much of its renewable energy? A few years ago, the answer may have focused on the development of “ghost projects” – big wind and solar farms with no physical connections to the power grid. Those connectivity problems still exist. But in fact a bigger problem today is renewable power that is physically connected to the grid, but not transmitted to meet actual energy demand.

This is part of a larger power sector management issue in China. In particular, China faces issues in three important grid management areas: power sector planning, market design and energy pricing. As a result, although renewable power plants are built, the power they generate is often wasted because it cannot be transmitted to demand centers, cannot be used at the right time, or is perceived to be too expensive.

There has been a long-term disconnect in China between power-sector planning—including development and siting of power plants and transmission lines—on the one hand, and the development of China’s ambitious energy and environmental policies on the other. Power-sector planning is still focused around creating infrastructure for a coal-based power system, whereas national energy policy has shifted toward rapidly scaling up renewable power. This lack of coordination means that renewable power plants are built in areas that already have excess coal power and where the transmission lines are insufficient to bring renewable energy to areas with unmet demand. Consequently, coal plant investment is surging despite decreasing electricity demand, while renewable power is being wasted.

Market design is another issue. Historically, power plants in China operate based on generation plans that dictate the number of hours each plant generates power a month or year in advance. These plans are hard to reconcile with wind and solar power, sources that are more difficult to predict ahead of time and cannot be powered on at will.  In contrast, other countries dispatch power based on real-time availability of energy sources and lowest operating costs. Since wind and solar plants have minimal operating costs once built, it usually makes sense to prioritize their power over fossil fuels, which have higher costs due to the need to constantly purchase new fuel.

Pricing is a third issue. Currently, the Chinese government, not the market, sets prices for power. The government has set renewable prices overly high through a policy mechanism known as a “feed-in tariff,” which requires power companies to buy this power at a set cost to encourage investment in these low-carbon sources. The drawback of this approach is it can make renewable energy seem artificially expensive relative to coal. In Europe and the United States, a “spot power market”—in which electricity is traded for use the same day, with prices set by the market—enables renewable plants to bid into the market at their operating cost, which is close to zero, and still receive a subsidy. This increases the overall use of renewable energy.

These are not insurmountable problems. One way for China to move forward toward a more rational power market, with less wasted renewable energy, is to start with a pilot region. In a recent report, Going for Gold: Championing Renewable Integration in Jing-Jin-Ji, the Paulson Institute recommends starting with China’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, aka Jing-Jin-Ji. Besides being home to China’s central government, Jing-Jin-Ji is a useful pilot choice because it has a geographical footprint and electricity consumption similar to Texas and Germany, two regions that have successfully integrated a larger fraction of renewable energy into their system with less waste: Germany’s curtailment rate is only about 1%, whereas Texas wastes only 0.5% of its renewable power. Jing-Jin-Ji can take a page from these regions and incorporate reforms to planning, market design and pricing, some of which are already beginning to happen. Beijing’s recent announcement that the Jing-Jin-Ji region will be a pilot for electricity market reforms is a step in the right direction. Ultimately, the region can serve as a model for the rest of the country.

The bottom line: China has set ambitious international climate goals that could make it the global leader on the transition to a new, lower-carbon energy future. But to realize those goals, Chinese leadership must focus on building a power system that is smarter, more flexible and less prone to prioritizing cheap coal over lower-carbon energy sources. Otherwise, China’s promise to the world may never become reality.

Read the latest Energy Report.

Leave a smaller carbon footprint with these eco-friendly travel tips

With the past summer breaking all records on the heat index, it’s time to get woke about travel.

Travel, of course, requires a certain amount of forethought. There’s the planning — the where, when and how you’re going. There’s choosing what to do, where to eat and what to visit to make it as memorable as can be. But what about the impact your adventure will make on the world? (And we’re not talking about the good kind.)

Tourism is responsible for 5% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, according to the UN’s World Tourism Organization. And the number of wanderlusters taking trips continues to grow. In the first four months of 2016 alone, 348 million people took an international trip, about 5.3% more than during the same time last year. It’s time that sustainability became a fundamental consideration of travel — because the very beaches, ski slopes and fragile ecosystems we love to visit depend on it.

“We can’t any longer consume in a way that we have,” said Rochelle Turner, Director of Research at the nonprofit World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in a phone interview. “It’s just not sustainable for the long-term future of the world.”

Source: Mic/Shutterstock

But making your next trip greener doesn’t mean you have to be zip-lining through the Costa Rican rainforest or staying in some fancy niche ecolodge (although those do sound pretty fun). “It’s just being a bit more thoughtful about where we’re going and why we’re going there,” Turner said. It’s about small, mindful choices that add up to making a difference.

Choose green before you go. Eco-travel starts in the planning stage. It can be booking an electric rental car or choosing a hotel that has a green seal of approval, such as the LEED Certification, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. A LEED-certified building is recognized as being designed to function with optimal sustainability, meaning it minimizes water and nonrenewable energy consumption. Bret Love, a travel blogger and co-founder of the eco-tourism site Green Global Travel, recommends that you search your hotel’s sustainability practices, such as using local supplies or solar power.

Consider riding a bike instead of getting a cab or renting a car.
Source: Mic/Shutterstock

Getting there and around town. Transportation makes up about 80% of the travel and tourism carbon footprint, according to WTTC’s Turner. Choosing the most eco-friendly mode of transportation for your trip often depends on the trip itself, she adds. Start by going over all of the transportation choices you have, and then weigh your options for expending the least energy and emissions, such as taking a train instead of a plane or taking public transportation to the airport and throughout the rest of your trip.

As aviation companies explore the most efficient ways to operate, some destinations are still only accessible by a long plane ride. In these instances, Green Global Travel‘s Love suggests a kind of personal carbon-trading plan. Essentially, it’s doing things both on your trip and at home that’ll help neutralize your flight’s carbon expense, such as recycling, composting or riding a bike.

Instead of buying a plastic water bottle, tote around a refillable one.
Source: Jason Stitt/Shutterstock

BYO bottle. Possibly one of the easiest things you can do to make a big impact is bringing a refillable water bottle with you so that you don’t need to purchase plastic ones. Even if plastic water bottles are recyclable, producing them uses large amounts of fossil fuels, and only about one in six ultimately end up in a recycling bin. The rest end up on beaches, hiking trails and waterways, making their way into the aquatic food chain. Just keep in mind that wherever you go, that plastic bottle will still be there 450 years afterward.

Of course, avoiding plastic water bottles may not be so easy in destinations where the public water is unsafe to drink. To minimize the number of bottles you use, Love suggests investing in portable purification and filtering tools like the SteriPEN or LifeStraw

There’s no need to have your hotel room cleaned every single day.
Source: Mic/Shutterstock

Simple solutions. And then there are those small, mindful things you can do — personal choices and behaviors to minimize your impact. Even while on vacation, it’s important to be conscious of our energy usage. The same goes for water usage. Taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet when shaving or brushing our teeth can help with your overall water consumption.

Love likes to hang his “Do Not Disturb” sign so that the cleaning staff doesn’t expend energy and supplies on cleaning his room everyday. “I don’t clean my room everyday when I’m home so why should we waste the energy of the vacuum cleaner [now]?” he said.

He also suggests remembering to turn off the lights, air conditioner and television when leaving your hotel room — and to take these small but impactful habits back home with you.

“I think over time as you adopt these little things, it adds up into big things,” Love said. “It becomes a daily conscious choice of trying to be more responsible.”

A new car from Toyota runs on a very renewable resource: human waste.

Yes, you read that right: The Toyota Mirai is powered by hydrogen fuel, which can be made from poop.

The process, as Quartz reports, is surprisingly simple. Toyota is using a wastewater processing plant in Fukuoka, Japan, to separate sewage into liquids and solids, and the solid waste is mixed with microorganisms that break it down, creating biogas. After that, carbon dioxide is filtered out, water vapor is added, more CO2 is extracted, and what you’re left with is pure hydrogen — a clean, efficient fuel that doesn’t emit greenhouse gases.

While this may seem space-aged, it’s actually old technology. Marc Melaina of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory told Quartz, “In India, they have loads of biogas plants in villages and such that are just part of their energy infrastructure.”

But poo-to-hydrogen technology is not widely available in the U.S. In fact, hydrogen fuel from any source is not widely available. There are only 29 hydrogen fueling stations in the entire country, and most are in California. If you don’t live in L.A. or San Francisco, you’re shit out of luck — at least for now. But that could change: The U.S. has plenty of crap that could be put to use.

Apple joins RE 100 renewable energy initiative, outlines new clean energy pledges


As part of continued eco-friendly efforts, Apple on Monday said it is now part of the RE100, a global initiative of leading companies committed to boosting demand and delivery of 100 percent renewable energy.

Source: Apple

Apple VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson announced the company’s membership to RE100 during an address at the Climate Week in New York City on Monday.

“Apple is committed to running on 100 percent renewable energy, and we’re happy to stand beside other companies that are working toward the same effort,” Jackson said. “We’re excited to share the industry-leading work we’ve been doing to drive renewable energy into the manufacturing supply chain, and look forward to partnering with RE100 to advocate for clean-energy policies around the world.”

Launched in 2014 through a partnership between The Climate Group and CDP, RE100 seeks to promote renewable energy consumption by urging member companies to procure electricity from renewable sources. A wide range of companies from China, Europe, India and the U.S. are participating in the project.

Alongside RE100, Jackson announced Apple, in cooperation with local utility Salt River Project, recently completed construction on a massive 50-megawatt solar farm that will feed the company’s global command data center in Mesa, Arizona. Apple is investing $2 billion over the next ten years to upgrade facilities at the site of its failed sapphire production joint venture into a control center for its U.S.-based data operations.

Jackson went on to tout progress in Apple’s initiative to kickstart clean energy usage in its Chinese supply chain. Under a new commitment, iPhone antenna band supplier Solvay Specialty Polymers pledged to use 100 percent renewable energy for production lines serving Apple products. The firm plans to power 14 facilities across 8 countries with renewable electricity by the end of 2018.

In addition, aluminum enclosure supplier Catcher Technology is progressing toward a renewable energy future that should also see completion by the same 2018 deadline.

Last month, Apple profiled Lens Technology as its first Chinese supplier to commit to a clean energy process for glass manufacturing lines serving Apple devices. Instead of building out dedicated renewable energy infrastructures, Chinese suppliers will meet their commitment to Apple largely through clean power purchase agreements.

Amazon building massive Texas wind farm to help power AWS Inc. has announced that it will be building a massive wind farm in West Texas as part of its ongoing sustainability initiative.

The company, which has been criticized by environmentalists for its power usage, says that the new project will be capable of generating up to 1,000,000 megawatt hours of wind energy each year, or “enough energy to power almost 90,000 U.S. homes.”

The project, creatively named Amazon Wind Farm Texas, is set to be completed sometime in 2017 and will be located in Scurry County, a sizable yet sparsely populated county that is roughly 260 miles west of Dallas. Thanks to the region’s wide, flat terrain, it is already home to a number of wind farms, both large and small, and several major roads in the area are lined for miles with wind turbines.

“We’re excited to work with the community in Scurry County and Lincoln Clean Energy to generate 1,000,000 MWh of renewable energy each year from West Texas,” said Kara Hurst, director of sustainability at Amazon. “Amazon Wind Farm Texas is our largest renewable energy project to date and the newest milestone in our long-term sustainability efforts across the company.”

The new wind farm will be built, owned and operated by Lincoln Clean Energy, and Amazon stated that it will purchase about 90 percent of the power it generates.

Powering clouds with wind

While Amazon Wind Farm Texas is the company’s largest green energy project to date, it is not Amazon’s first foray into generating its own renewable energy. Amazon already uses other wind and solar farms to supplement its AWS data centers with renewable energy, and the company has also worked on making its packing more eco-friendly, reducing the amount of waste generated by the millions of packages it sends out each year.

On its website, Amazon says that AWS “has a long-term commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint.”  Despite this promise, Amazon has been called out in the past for not being as green as it could be.

“Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides the infrastructure for a significant part of the internet, remains among the dirtiest and least transparent companies in the sector, far behind its major competitors, with zero reporting of its energy or environmental footprint to any source or stakeholder,” a 2014 report by Greenpeace said.

Greenpeace added, “Unfortunately, despite its dominant position and well established business model, AWS has dropped further and further behind its competitors in building an internet that runs on renewable sources of energy, and is the least transparent of any company we evaluated.”

Amazon may be hoping that its new wind project will prove that it is serious about renewable energy.

Photo by rutlo 
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India wastes 15-20% of its renewable energy due to lack of storage …

The variations in wind and solar energy, and the lack of adequate electricity storage facilities, result in about 15-20 per cent of all renewable energy generated in India going to waste, according to a top official in Panasonic India’s energy division.

Grid management

“On average, if 24 hours is the potential of electricity generation, then you can easily say that 15-20 per cent is wasted because the grid can’t manage the kind of variation in the electricity sourced from wind and solar generation,” Atul Arya, Head, Energy Systems, Panasonic India told The Hindu in an interview.

The variability of generation from renewable sources—where wind changes direction and speed on an hourly basis and solar intensity can vary by the minute—is not that big a problem if renewable energy forms a small proportion of the overall grid, as it does currently in the national grid, Mr Arya said.

“But if you look at state-specific grids, then the picture changes,” he added. “For example, look at the Tamil Nadu grid. Percentage-wise, wind is pretty high in the Tamil Nadu grid and that is what is creating problems for them. With wind changing its speed and direction, it becomes horrible from a grid stability point of view.”

Discarding Power

The typical strategy in India at the moment, Mr Arya said, is to simply discard the unstable power without it ever entering the grid.

“So you are generating but not using it in the grid,” he said. “It gets wasted. Electricity is something you either use immediately, or you cannot use it at all.”

That’s where storage technology comes in.

Storage technology can ensure that no matter the wind or solar generation, what you get out of the generation-cum-storage unit is a uniform output, “which is great for the grid”, according to Mr Arya.

As far as battery technology goes, lithium-ion batteries—the kind used in cellphones—have emerged as the technology of choice since they outperform all the other competing technologies in terms of size, capacity, efficiency, and environmental impact.

“Lithium-ion does not seem to be going anywhere in the next decade,” Mr Arya said. “And if you include the fact that even electric cars use that battery, then you can expect greater RD and investment in this technology in the future.”

Sector Incentives

The Central government has been pushing renewable energy hard since it came to power, but there it is still moving relatively slowly on storage technologies, something that a few policy decisions could rectify, according to Mr Arya.

“There is an amount of realisation in the government and the ministries in understanding the subject, but yes, it is quite new,” he said. “Maybe it will still take some time (for government policy to gain traction).”

Viability-gap funding

Apart from announcing tax incentives for storage technology manufacturing, such as is being done for the IT sector, other steps like viability-gap funding can also boost the sector.

“The government currently only recognises gas-based plants as the service providers to boost generation whenever it falls short of demand,” Mr Arya said. “But it doesn’t recognise energy storage for this purpose, something that is already happening in the western world.”

Warriors on the Issues: Fighting for the environment

Many of those in past generations have the luxury to not care about the impending doom of the environment. Whether they are approaching the final years of their life, or simply enjoy the profit from Big Oil Supermajors far too much, they simply ignore the environment. Some deny climate change, others act so slowly that progress becomes nonexistent. Although relying on fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses may seem enticing and easy, the leaders of today and of the future must find, produce, and utilize alternatives to sustain this planet we call home.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 signaled to many around the world that perhaps oil and fossil fuels were resources of the past. For many of those born in generation Z, the oil spill was more reason for change.

At the time of the spill, many Americans called for government tax breaks for corporations and businesses that relied on renewable energy. Stanford University issued a poll to 1,000 randomly selected American citizens between June 1 and June 7 of 2010, during the time of the spill. Although only 75% opposed taxes on gas and energy consumption to urge conservation, 84% of them approved of tax breaks to encourage the use of wind, solar and water power.

For some time, BP maintained their research and development departments on renewable energy. Eventually, BP pulled funding once the public eye focused on other, more pressing topics. The Guardian writes, “BP pumped billions of pounds into low-carbon technology and green energy over a number of decades but gradually retired the programme to focus almost exclusively on its fossil fuel business, the Guardian has established. … The energy efficiency programme employed 4,400 research scientists and RD support staff at bases in Sunbury, Berkshire, and Cleveland, Ohio, among other locations, while $8bn was directly invested over five years in zero- or low-carbon energy. But almost all of the technology was sold off and much of the research locked away in a private corporate archive.”

Although disappointing, the ultimate decision of BP truly should surprise no one. BP, among others in Big Oil, simply disregarded the environment and its health for economic profit.

Luckily, renewable energy stocks continue to rise. In pop culture, PayPal founder Elon Musk’s Tesla car company has become a new symbol of status, luxury, and being eco-friendly. Popular renewable energy stocks and companies have been on the rise, while unsuccessful ones have been evaluated and since disregarded. The Frankfurt School publication Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment shows that from 2014 to 2015, solar investments increased 12%, while wind increased 4%. Other more experimental renewable energy sources, such as geothermal and biofuels experienced negative growth upon their investments.

As a high schooler, my generation truly has the ability to determine the fate of our planet. Sure, we could flatline all alternative energy progress, maintain decent profit, and pray that the next generation, our children, can handle our issues. Relying on fossil fuels would be so easy for us to do.

Yet, we truly should not. We, unlike past generations, have not the luxury to brush off our responsibilities for protecting and maintaining the environment and climate of our planet. Although it may be hard to initiate, we truly must take a proactive stand on the environment. Whether it is cutting foreign oil dependence, smart tax breaks, further carbon taxes, mandating electric cars, rigorous and unforgiving factory inspections, or more global summits such as the Kyoto Protocol, we, the future of this planet, must take a stance on the environment and climate change.

Randy Ramirez is president of the Wilton High School Model Congress. He is a member of the Class of 2017.

Dublin WTE facility pulls in processing contracts

Covanta, Morristown, New Jersey, announced new waste supply agreements for the Dublin (Ireland) waste-to-energy facility that put 90 percent of the facility’s waste processing capacity under contract. The latest agreements with leading waste collection companies in Ireland vary in duration with an average term of nine years.

“We are very pleased to have locked up the majority of the waste supply needed for the Dublin project as we gear up for facility commissioning in 2017,” says Covanta President and CEO Stephen J. Jones. “After securing 60 percent of the waste earlier this year, we held a tender for the remaining waste and saw very strong local market demand for the facility’s capacity. The strong interest from waste collectors is recognition of the cost competitive solution the facility will provide the Irish market, in addition to the significant environmental benefits.”

The Dublin Waste-to-Energy project is a public private partnership (PPP) between Covanta and Dublin City Council (acting on behalf of the four Dublin Local Authorities) that will provide the Dublin region with a long-term sustainable and environmentally superior waste management solution. The facility will divert postrecycled waste from landfills and reduce exportation, allowing Dublin to become locally self-sufficient in managing waste, consistent with regional, national and European Union (EU) waste policies.

When complete, the Dublin facility will process approximately 600,000 metric tons of waste annually and will generate clean energy to supply 80,000 homes, reducing Ireland’s reliance on imported fossil fuel. The facility has also been designed with technology and infrastructure to provide enough heat to meet the equivalent needs of over 50,000 homes if a district heating system is implemented in the future.

Construction of the facility continues to progress on schedule and is approximately 70 percent complete. Commercial operations will commence in late 2017.