County

Skeptics Take Dim View Of Dynamis Power Plant

While the GUARDIAN has always been skeptical about the proposed “trash to energy” project at the county dump, more folks are jumping on the trash truck seeking to short circuit the plan.

A Thursday meeting called by residents in the Hidden Springs area adjacent to the landfill was attended by Ada Commish candidates and reps from Dynamis. By almost all reports, Dynamis failed to provide answers to questions regarding emissions from its pyrolysis technology trash burning project.

The Dynamis project and the $2 million payment in taxpayer money to the firm are focal points in the Commish primary race.

The GUARDIAN has been monitoring the project and talking to scientists familiar with the process and the specific Dynamis proposal. Simply put, the project is full of holes with regard to waste sorting and who will pay for sorting (cement, iron, and other waste simply will not burn or provide fuel for the system), emissions, and other issues including things like who owns the trash that will be used to fuel the system.

The firm has applied for an expedited “15 day permit” from the Idaho DEQ. That will allow them to begin construction, but if the project is not approved someone will be left holding the bag. Prior financing has fallen through and Dynamis was refused to provide details with regard to the current financing while touting job creation, economic development, etc. The 350 page applications can be seen HERE.

They have previously pushed for a “world headquarters” operation in Garden Valley in conjunction with the South Fork Landing development which is failing and owes Boise County hundreds of thousands in back taxes. See STATESMAN story.

Environmentalists are now claiming the issue of emissions is a serious concern–noting Dynamis has removed references to certain carcinogens from its web site. Says opponent Erik Jensen, “Dynamis has absolutely zero experience building, operating, and maintaining a facility like the one they want to build right at the population center of Idaho.”

Dynamis has been touting projects all over the world from Alaska to Italy, but when examined closely they either don’t exist or are not at all what they claimed to be. A consortium of several Eastern Idaho Counties have reportedly abandoned plans to use the Dynamis trash burning technology at a proposed facility in Clark County.

While the firm does have an agreement to sell electricity to Idaho Power, the deal is only good IF they “produce the juice.”

We see the proposal as a way to take advantage of public funding for something that is not needed and will most certainly cost taxpayers more than the $2 million already spent when it is all over.

UPDATE 4/30/12–The IDAHO CONSERVATION LEAGUE blogs in opposition to the project.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304444604577337702024537204.html?KEYWORDS=burning+trash+to+create+energy

    Yep, we should continue to deal with trash like we have forever, because that’s the way we’ve always done things. Back to the future, I say.

    If it’s not Dynamis, it should be someone. The technology is certainly out there to burn trash and turn it into energy.

  2. Sidedeal?

  3. chicago sam
    Apr 29, 2012, 8:01 am

    nan emouse’s click and learn everything about trash is interesting but omits some important facts.
    In reference to Europe and recycling landfills are banned in Germany and as a result the cost of garbage disposal is several times higher than it is here.
    In the nearby city of Spokane they have had a waste to energy plant for over 15 years. The cost to ratepayers for garbage disposal is $65/ton vs approx. $16 here
    Ash is roughly 35% not 5% as claimed by Dynamis officials and is so toxic it must be hauled away and buried in a special garbage dump of its own.
    It should be noted the Hidden Hollow landfill has an estimated life of over 70 years. In addition to the high cost of garbage in, the electricity out in the contract negotiated with Idaho Power will cost you 50% more than you are currently paying
    Dynamis while claiming new technology have yet to build a commercial scale plant anywhere in the world. Can anybody say Guinea Pig. It simply makes no sense to clean up our car exhausts and turn around and burn our garbage putting who knows what into the air

    EDITOR NOTE–Sam, you make a good point about “who knows what” will be be burned because each load has a different content.

  4. It is my understanding Waste Management Services (the people with the big blue trucks) are going to build a large recycling facility in Meridian to pull out recyclable stuff from all trash. Now that does not leave much for Dynamis to burn.

    All this leads me to believe Dynamis will be using the facility to burn massive quantities of old tires as feed stocks for their project. Tire burning, no matter what the process will allow a certain amount of unhealty stuff into the air shed of this valley no matter how big the pile of permitting paper from the DEQ.

  5. How stupid can you be Commissioners? And if Vern had his wits about him this past year the $2M front money would not have happened. Anyone that thinks Sharron is a Republican is getting fooled by a RINO.

  6. For clarification, the 2 million was given away by Fred Tilman, Sharon Ullman & Rick Yzaguirre. Vern was not a county commissioner at the time. When Vern did have a chance to vote on a contract with Dynamis, he voted against it but was overruled Sharon Ullman and Rick Yzaguirre.

    Zippo – Most people don’t seem to remember Sharon Ullman ran as a Democrat 2 or 3 times and lost in the 90’s. Then suddenly she becomes a Republican in 2000 and wins. She lost the primary in 2004. In 2006 she left the Republicans to run as an Independent and lost. Then suddenly she is a Republican again in 2008 and wins

    You don’t see this info posted on her blog.

  7. Get the Facts First
    Apr 30, 2012, 12:40 pm

    Folks, please get the facts first. Wheelabrator (the operator in Spokane) will give anyone a tour that is willing to go an see. Look for yourself at how one of these plants operate and the numerous conditions of operation set forth by our government to portect YOU!. All of these power plants, wether it be a conventional coal, gas fired, or waste to energy all follow the same emmissions guidelines for CO, SO2, and NOx. I’ve worked at 2 different waste to energy facilities, a coal, and a gas fired plant. The outcome is the same. Megawatts for you to blog with. The only difference is the fuel source.

  8. Facts first, Facts? We don’t need no stinkin facts. We want to bury our garbage and we don’t want no one to come up with good ideas. We’d rather have a campaign issue that the average voter doesn’t have a clue about but which we can demagogue to death.

  9. Facts from Idaho Power is they are fed up with paying for power they don’t want or need from alternative sources. Ditto for Boneville Power. FERC and PURPA rates are killing these two companies.

    EDITOR NOTE–Today’s news sea Bonneville will PAY wind producers to shutdown because there is so much water that needs to pass dams due to high snow runoff passing through dams.

  10. @GTFF: Please give me some cost facts. And the price of the power produced. And will you be burning tires because trash won’t burn on it’s own. And the cost of what you need to do with the residual ash hazmat. Yes indeed, we do want facts, all of the facts.

    Someone read AlGore’s book and chose to solve a problem we don’t have. Was hoping to put it on a resume and get a job with Obama in the second 4?

    Still have not heard one government type, or even Vern say it’s a bad idea and should be stopped. Correct me if worng on this point.

    EDITOR NOTE–Contract we read specifically allowed tires to be burned. Vern opposed “everything Dynamis.” Neighbors oppose the science, we oppose the financing and lack of honest answers.

  11. chicago sam
    May 1, 2012, 8:33 pm

    Zippo
    Type in Spokanewastetoenergy
    for information on the Spokane plant. Yes, waste to energy can be done but only with extra money coming from somewhere–govt, subsidies, higher garbage collection fees or in the case of Dynamis Idaho Power will pay much above market rates for the power produce–of course cheap energy is only important to everyone

  12. Ruh ro. Dynamis principles Mahaffey and Johnston are $400k behind on back taxes on their failing Southfork Landing project. If $75k isn’t ponied up to Boise county by the end of July, Boise county gets some riverfront property to auction for their legal debts.

    Sharon made a lot of het about the Green Group involvement in the horse track. Did she not do equal due diligence on the Dynamis principles?

  13. Het =hay

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