Monday, November 17, 2008

Back to Square One on Trash to Energy?

The City of Sacramento sounds like it could be getting cold feet on its proposed investment in a trash to energy facility-- and rightly so.

The City Council is set to vote in early December on whether to commit to a multi-year contract with US Science & Technology, a consortium of companies that propose to build the plasma arc gasification factilty that woul vaporize trash and turn it into energy.

However, a similar project in Florida recently hit the skids after the contractor began to hedge on the viability of the facility and subsequently scaled back projections. Additionally, the company set to build the Sacramento plant was rejected outright by Los Angeles, which considered a similar project.

Perhaps the biggest red flag is US Science & Technology's refusal to divulge detailed financial information to Sacramento until after the Council votes on its contract... huh?

The Sacramento Bee describes the proposed plant as follows:

"The technology is alluring, scoring high in "gee-whiz" value and as an alternative to filling landfills. Gas heated to temperatures approaching those on the sun's surface vaporizes trash, producing a synthetic fuel. Also, the residual molten glass and metals can be sold as filler for road and building construction."

You know what they say about things that sound too good to be true...