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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsMaking Garbage into Clean Energy Proposed for St. John

Making Garbage into Clean Energy Proposed for St. John

A waste-to-energy power plant is proposed for the Susannaberg Transfer Station on St. John. (Source file photo)

The territory needs good news on the energy production front, and what better news could the V. I. Public Services Commission get Tuesday than progress on a project to convert all the garbage on St. John into fuel for a power plant? The power could then be sold to the financially-strapped Water and Power Authority for less than the authority is paying to produce power with fossil fuel.

Dan Levin, a founder at Advanced Sustainable Technologies, told the commission that the project could be operational by the end of next calendar year. He said a draft power-purchase agreement with WAPA had already been written, and an agreement with the Waste Management Authority was being worked on.

Commissioner David Hughes told Levin, “If you aren’t looking for cash, Waste Management will be happy to give you its trash.”

This is not the first time a waste-to-energy solution has been proposed for WAPA. Fourteen years ago, Alpine Energy proposed a plan. The plan was debated and finally withdrawn because of concerns about possible emissions and the remaining waste products.

Levin told the commission that any emissions from AST’s plant would be well below those of a fossil fuel power plant, and there would be no remainder. He said, “Everything is recyclable.”

Susannaberg Transfer Station will be the home of the waste-to-energy equipment.

Levin said the machinery is being built in Florida and would be tested there.

Levin said 10 to 20 workers would be involved in the installation of the plant, and six to 10 workers would be needed for its operation.

The company, which has offices in Israel, New York, and India, says on its website, “In a world grappling with the mounting challenges of waste management and energy sustainability, AST Ltd. has set forth a clear and compelling mission: “To innovate and implement renewable energy projects that convert municipal and hazardous waste into clean, renewable electricity, thereby reducing waste, lowering carbon footprints, and generating a new source of sustainable energy.”

Levin told the commission that the financing for the project was in place.

Earlier in the meeting, commissioners discussed ongoing customer complaints with Liberty Mobile. These complaints have included drop calls, dark areas, billing mistakes, and a lack of number portability.

PSC Executive Director Sandra Setorie said complaints to the PSC have dropped significantly in recent weeks but have not disappeared. The company’s representatives said complaints to the company and the FCC have also dropped off.

In mid-April, the PSC conducted a listening session in which ten residents delivered complaints in person, and five voiced their concerns in emails.

PSC members include Chairman Pedro Williams, Vice Chair David Hughes, Clement “Clain” Magras, Laura Nichols Samms, and Raymond Williams.

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