VIDEO: Wilm. breaks ground on new energy plant

The City of Wilmington breaks ground on a new energy facility at the wastewater treatment plant that will help the environment.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

The $36 million facility near 12th Street and Hay Road will reduce the amount of sludge coming from the city's wastewater treatment plant from 140 to 35 tons a day.

DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara calls it a brilliant project that needs to be replicated elsewhere.

"It solves a waste problem that's existed for some time. It reduced the energy needs, and so about 80-percent of the energy is going to come from the renewable energy produced by this facility for this facility, so reducing your costs, reducing emissions," he says.

Mayor Baker says without it...

"We would've had to buld holding tanks all over the city. We would've ripped this city up trying to build those things," says Baker.

The facility will use a thermal drying process that's been adopted by neighboring cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Tim Sheldon, County Councilman and member of the Delaware Solid Waste Authority says it will improve Delawareans' quality of life too.

"Now you won't see the flares; the smell will be down. The electric that will be used here will be about six percent, and that's when it's down because you're going to have enough methane gas to run this plant for the next 50 years," he says.

The Renewable Energy Biosolids Facility will be complete by early 2014.

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