An evaluation of the RD Penrose 1 proposed pyrolysis municipal solid waste treatment plant in Penrose, NC. We reviewed video of a presentation by Matthew Ross, either the lawyer representing RD Penrose 1, a wholly owned subsidiary of Renewable Developers, LLC, or a partner in Renewable Developers along with Peter Byrne and Ken Allison, or the owners agent. We also reviewed materials from the possible technology supplier, American Combustion Technology, Inc, ACTI, along with NCUC Documents, and information provided to the Transylvania Times, Hendersonville Lightning, and the Hendersonville Times-News by company officials. Additionally, minutes from the Transylvania County Economic Development Board were scrutinized.
We submit this information in the spirit of information, education, and a different viewpoint from those of the company officials, in order that the citizens of Transylvania County can and will make an informed decision. We are very concerned that claims have been made that include incorrect, and misleading information.
Summary of concerns
Ken Allison-long time resident and businessman, nursery owner, resides in Henderson county.
Pete Byrne- investment banker by training- several years as renewable energy project developer
Matthew Ross- renewable energy project lawyer
Claim- Experienced in developing, permitting, and financing energy renewable projects
Reality- No evidence offered of any experience in MSW (municipal solid waste) or pyrolysis systems
No evidence offered that this product has ever been built, and permitted for commercial electricity production anywhere in the US.
No evidence offered of any facilities of any type being developed, financed, permitted, or built by this company.
Permits applied for to date have been incomplete, incorrect, and/ or are lacking in pertinent information necessary to develop complete responses from NCUC, DENR , Wildlife Resources Commission, Waste Management Division of DENR, and Asheville Region, Division of Water Quality.
Claim- There are very low emissions. There are some emissions. Generator will emit approx. 1/6 to 1/8 of threshold for major source under the clean air act. Generator will produce the emissions of approx. 27-200hp cars.
Reality-No evidence offered of design development, engineering development, or product choice. No factual basis for claim. There will be 2-4 generators. Data offered for singular generator.
Water Pollution, Intake and Discharge
Claim- Very little, and the amount that will be there will be channeled into a holding pond.
Reality - No evidence of any intake, any water treatment, or any thought given to it.
Claim- All louder portions of noise will occur during business hours. We will make sure no ambient noise from street.
Reality - 2-4 generators will produce noise 24/7.
Not an incinerator
Claim - The process is not incineration or combustion
Reality – The proposed process is a two stage incineration process. The first step is to heat the RDF and creating syngas. The second stage involves the direct burning/combustion of the syngas.
Claim- 15 of 17 commercially deployed plants in operation.
Reality- Not one of these plants is a commercial, permitted gasification facility for municipal solid waste
Claim - Plant will produce 4MW of electricity
Reality - No evidence that this facility can produce any energy. No comparison facility in existence that our research has found to substantiate this claim.
REVIEW OF WRITTEN MATERIAL FROM AMERICAN COMBUSTION TECHNOLOGIES
Claims on ACTI’s website:
A review of the website of the technology provider (www.american-combustion.com) raises numerous important concerns and questions.
(1) Despite this company’s proposal to use pyrolysis technology, their website does not contain the word “pyrolysis” anywhere.
(2) Despite their claim that they are not proposing incineration, their website (and their company name) focus on combustion and incineration. The website’s home page is filled with references to “burners.”
(3) We found no mention anywhere on their website about this company ever actually operating any commercial Municipal Solid Waste pyrolysis gasification system, and our internet research failed to find any such information.