First Fire is on the Horizon – An update on the Palm Beach Renewable Energy Facility
Patrick Carroll, Director Facilities Management, Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County


The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County (Authority) has developed an award winning solid waste management system that includes the following facilities to service the residents and businesses in Palm Beach County, Florida:

  • Palm Beach Renewable Energy Facility No. 1 (PBREF No. 1);
  • Residential and Commercial Recovered Materials Processing Facility;
  • Six Transfer Stations;
  • Class I Landfill;
  • Class III Landfill;
  • Biosolids Pelletization Facility;
  • Ferrous Processing Facility;
  • Woody Waste Recycling Facility;
  • Composting Facility; and
  • Two Household Hazardous Waste Facilities.
The Authority has proactively planned and implemented an integrated program to provide for the long term, economically sound, and environmentally sustainable management of solid waste in the County. The County’s anticipated growth necessitated that the Authority evaluate several options for long-term processing and disposal. This resulted in a decision to expand its WTE capacity with a new mass burn facility, the first facility of its kind in the US in almost two decades, reaffirming its commitment to WTE. The planned 3,000 TPD facility will provide the Authority with a total disposal capacity of 5,000 TPD generating approximately 150MW of renewable energy. The decision to proceed with the expansion was approved by the Authority’s Board in October 2008. The Authority, with its Consulting Engineer, ARCADIS, has since made significant progress in the facility’s implementation of this landmark project including the completion of the preliminary design, securing environmental permits, procuring a full service vendor, issuance of revenue bonds, signing an electrical sales contract, and ongoing extensive public outreach efforts. Detailed design and equipment procurement are nearing completion, construction of the facility commenced in April 2012, and progress to date remains on target to achieve commercial operations in 2015, with first fire scheduled to occur in late 2014.

This presentation will focus on the ongoing development and construction of the new facility and an update of the status of activities conducted to date such as:
  • Lessons Learned – As the project moves from detailed design and equipment procurement to construction, significant progress has been made and many lessons have been learned;
  • Equipment Fabrication and Construction Progress – In the last year, significant progress has occurred, including completion of stack, boiler building steel erection, steam drum and fabric filter house installations, shipment of and successful installation of several major equipment components such as air cooled condenser, grate systems, and turbine-generator set, as well as commencement of detailed system turnover and commissioning planning;
  • Public Outreach - the Authority’s efforts to keep the public informed through community meetings, billboards, and educational materials for all audiences; as well as the design of an extensive Visitor’s Center tour and educational program through innovative and state of the art graphics and interactive media displays;
  • Local Hiring – the Authority’s efforts and successes associated with its commitment to hiring local Palm Beach County residents for the construction of the Facility; and,
  • Power Sales and Interconnection Agreements – the Authority’s execution of long term power sales agreement as well as negotiation of an interconnection agreement and advanced capacity payment for the Facility.

Following my presentation, audience members will be able to:

  1. Gain insight into challenges faced with implementation of new facilities and expansions with lessons learned from ongoing construction.
  2. Obtain an overview of current progress of greenfield construction project and path for commercial operation.
  3. Consider application of similar best practices and approaches to specific individual projects/programs.

BIO: Patrick Carroll received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Maryland. He has over 25 years of experience in the waste management industry to include facility design, construction and operations. In his current capacity as the Director of Facilities Development for the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County, Mr. Carroll is responsible for the implementation of the Authority’s capital program. The program is approaching a billion dollars and includes a new recycling facility, new transfer stations, landfill cell construction as well as multiple smaller projects. As part of his duties, Mr. Carroll serves as Project Manager for the development and construction of the Authority’s new 3,000 TPD Renewable Energy Facility which is currently under construction and scheduled for commercial operation in early 2015.