Biomass project proposed in Milwaukee

By Lisa Gibson
Posted February 2, 2010, at 3:35 p.m. CST

Project Apollo, a 25-megawatt biomass power plant to be built in Milwaukee, Wis., should be operational in late 2013, producing enough electricity to power 20,000 homes in the Milwaukee area, according to developer Alliance Federated Energy.

AFE plans to use Westinghouse Plasma Corp.'s plasma gasification technology to convert municipal and industrial wastes into syngas for energy. Several facilities around the world, such as in Japan, operate commercially with the technology, with several more in final design or construction phases, including in India and Turkey, according to Westinghouse. AFE, established in 2005, develops and finances renewable energy projects in the Midwest, and provides development services for projects led by third parties through a network of independent consultants and contractors.

The $225 million Milwaukee plant, which will be built on a 25-acre industrial site, will be AFE's first project and CEO Christopher Maloney calls the plasma gasification technology the "ultimate in recycling." The project will create more than 250 jobs during construction, along with another 45 full-time positions once operational, according to AFE. Badger Disposal of Wisconsin, one of the region's leading industrial waste management services companies, has already committed to supply about 30 percent of the waste feedstock for the facility. AFE is in discussions with third parties for the sale of syngas and electricity.

The first phase of the facility is expected to process about 1,200 tons of waste per day, according to the company. AFE partner CorVal-Ryan, based in St. Paul, Minn., will design and fabricate the plant, and Los Angeles-based partner Aecom will provide technical, environmental and management support services for the project.