County

Ada County Electric Trash Deal Is Shocking

Ada Commishes may be moving a bit hasty with plans for an incinerator at the Hidden Hollow landfill in an effort to get some of the “stimulus funds” from the Feds.

On the face of it, a plan to allow an Eagle firm to build an incinerator and pay $1 a year for rent sounded good. The developer would build the facility and it would generate 12 megawatts of electricity per hour while consuming 250 tons of trash per day. Creates jobs, local company, helps the environment, etc. etc.

The incinerator is supposed to be a “clean burning” plant that will heat water to make steam to turn a turbine. They have not applied for any water rights at this point and a company spokesman said the design “uses very little water,” but admitted it would depend on groundwater from a well.

A closer examination by the GUARDIAN discloses Ada County is obligating $2 million in taxpayer funds to Dynamis–the Eagle firm that will own the plant– for design work. They are hoping for some of that oft-touted Stimulus Money printed in Washington, D.C. The facility will apparently create no “financial return” to the county citizens from sales of the power. The commishes seems happy at this point with diverting 250 tons of trash a day from the landfill.

We see it a little differently. If the private firm wants to get free “fuel” to generate about 10-12 MWH of power a day they shouldn’t be paid to design a plant they have already designed in Barrow, Alaska and the country of Columbia.

Under the terms of a typical “avoided cost” contract with Idaho Power, they would be paid $60 per megawatt hour the first year with increases over a 20 year period resulting in a rate of $82.38 for the final year.

Using $70 per MWH as an average for the 24/7 “baseload” deal, Dynamis stands to make more than $6,000,000 a year or $120,000,000 over the course of 20 years–not bad when you didn’t even have to present a competitive bid for the deal.

Dynamis was declared a “sole provider” after pitching the county. Ada subsequently sent a letter to the media and posted it on their website offering discussions on other green projects at the dump. The landfill handles between 1,500 and 2,000 tons of trash daily.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Tired of Same Old Stuff
    Jul 10, 2010, 7:20 am

    Perhaps most shocking was that the daily paper issued two articles that included no investigation, never even mentioned the $2 million cost, and blithely praised the green aspects of the arrangement. I was amazed that no one seemed to care that the county had spent $2 million apparently without going to bid. Also, one must wonder what secret meetings were held to lead up to a signed contract of this magnitude. Are we to believe Dynamis just showed up one day and it was a done deal? As for the sole provider idea, I think that is an official legal thing and it would be interesting to find out if it was done. If you do a little homework by going to http://www.adaweb.net and look at the commissioners agendas, you can see that the contract was not even part of their regular Tuesday meeting but was done at a special meeting on June 30. Keep digging Guardian. No one else in the media will cause the county manager is one of their own.

  2. It seems that all one needs to do today is to declare a project
    “green”, and everyone just falls in line behind the “flute” without checking for the truth! Now that the Guardian has turned the soil, maybe the rags will see if there are any worms.

  3. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 11, 2010, 1:39 pm

    Clean burning??? Tell me the one anout the three bears, I like it better.

    You see ads on TV every day about clean coal. What nonsense. Just proves most people are dumb enought to believe anything they are told.

  4. A friend and I sent an email to one of the Ada commisshes asking if they had details on the proposed incinerator emissions. The following is the boiler plate that we got in reply:
    “My colleagues and I received personal briefings from representatives of Dynamis and I was satisfied that the emissions from the plant will be minimal. Please keep in mind that Dynamis cannot operate without the appropriate permits, including from DEQ.
    We are not talking about burning trash in a burn barrel. Dynamis’ technology is state-of-the-art, in which they slowly burn waste at 800 degrees in enclosed chambers. The resulting “syn gas” is then super-heated to 2000 degrees, which effectively eradicates harmful emissions. I will attach to this message a set of responses to Frequently Asked Questions that was prepared by Dynamis, I would invite you to contact the company yourself if you would like to receive additional information about the specifics of their process.”
    [comment: 1) “Minimal”? As compared to what? 2) DEQ falls over backward for any biz that wants to get away with pollution. See their record on air and water pollution from CAFOs.]
    The attached doc is too long to include here. You can visit Dynamis’s website that features a contact email address.
    I smell a dynamic dozen of rats, all coming out of the burn barrel.
    Go to: http://www.dynamisenergy.com/

  5. As it is, hidden hollow landfill occasionally belches a stinky cloud upon the residents of nw boise. This is not ‘supposed to’ happen, but it does. Drive up to Hidden Springs with your window down and you’ll get a whiff. Are the emissions from an incinerator ‘suppose to’ be clean, and are they ‘suppose to’ stay out of the neighborhood?

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