Renewable Energy Facility
The Renewable Energy Facility #1 is a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) waste-to-energy (WTE) facility. The facility is owned by the Solid Waste Authority and operated by Palm Beach Resource Recovery Corporation, a subsidiary of Babcock and Wilcox Corporation.
The NCRRF opened in 1989 and currently processes in excess of 850,000 tons of municipal solid waste per year. The facility successfully provides a 60% reduction by weight in the quantity of waste landfilled. In the absence of REF #1, the Authority’s landfill would have been depleted in 2005.
Meeting the Future:
Evaluating the Potential of Waste
Processing Technologies to Contribute to the Solid
Waste Authority’s System
(A White Paper)
REF #1 consists of a tipping floor, an RDF processing plant, an RDF storage building, two boilers, a turbine generator, pollution control equipment, and associated facilities and equipment. The design capacity is 2,000 tons per day (624,000 tons per year), although the facility has consistently surpassed this. The design capacity is based on two of the three processing lines operating at any one time, but by operating all three lines on peak days, the operator is able to process at a rate up to 3,000 tons per day for a limited period of time.
The NCRRF generates enough electricity to satisfy the power requirements of all of the Authority’s North Jog Road facilities and approximately 30,000 homes. The SWA sells the excess power generated by the facility to Florida Power and Light.
Additional benefits include the recovery of ferrous metals and aluminum and the diversion of more than 500,000 tons of garbage per year from the Class 1 landfill.
The plant has state of the art pollution control equipment, consisting of Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) for NOx control, carbon injection for the control of mercury and volatile organic compounds, spray dryer absorbers for acid gas control and fabric filter baghouses for the control of particulates.
How The Plant Works
MSW is unloaded onto the tipping floor. Unprocessible waste such as appliances, tires, vegetative waste, metal and potentially hazardous materials, such as propane tanks, is removed from the waste stream. This material, which accounts for 3-4% by weight of the total delivered MSW, is landfilled.
MSW is fed by front-end loaders or excavators onto conveyors that "feed" the flail mill. The flail mill tears open any plastic bags, and the garbage falls onto a conveyor. Ferrous metal is then removed from each line by an overhead magnet. Aluminum cans are removed by eddy current separators and transported to recyclers.
The remaining waste then passes through a rotating trommel screen that removes sand, grit, dirt and glass (all less than 2 inches in size). These non-combustible materials are conveyed to a waiting truck and then landfilled.
Any materials not removed by the trommel, the magnets or the eddy currents go through a secondary shredder to produce the RDF. The RDF is then conveyed to a 3,000 ton capacity storage building, where it is fed into the boilers by way of conveyors.
RDF is burned in one of two boilers to generate steam, which drives a turbine generator to produce electricity.
North County Renewable Energy Facility
A collection vehicle
deposits waste on the
An excavator spreads the waste to identify
and remove unprocessible items.
One of three processing lines where ferrous
metals and aluminum are recovered.
A wider view of the RDF processing plant.
Inside the control room.
Pollution Control Equipment