AIKEN, S.C. (March 5) – As part of a collaborative process between the Department of Energy (DOE), Washington Savannah River Company and Honeywell Building Solutions, the Savannah River Site (SRS) is building a new clean energy and highly efficient steam plant.
The new plant replaces a 1950s vintage coal-fired facility with a clean, renewable biomass-fired plant that will provide an efficient, long-term, reliable source of steam to the site’s A Area.
The A-Area energy improvement project and another one planned for F Area are among the largest within DOE. The overall goal of the A-Area project is to make it self-sustaining by utilizing only renewable biomass waste products from within the SRS for its fuel sources.
Starting in August, in support of President Bush’s initiatives to increase clean energy use at federal agencies, the A-Area plant will provide steam for industrial uses to the Savannah River National Laboratory, a few administrative facilities in A Area and the Dynamic Underground Stripping Project, a groundwater cleanup technology.
The current plant, installed in 1951, is too large for today’s reduced A-Area steam requirements, resulting in venting and reduced plant efficiency; the boiler plant is also past its useful life, requiring additional maintenance and repair.
It is the site’s goal that the biomass for the wood-fired boiler will be primarily supplied from wood chips from waste generated by SRS forest management activities, under the direction of the U.S. Forest Service-Savannah River Site. The new system will result in lower environmental emissions, less energy consumption, lower operating and maintenance costs, and compliance with new Clean Air and Clean Water Standards.
SRS is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy and operated by a team of companies led by the Washington Savannah River Company.