The facility on Atomic Road has been under construction since mid-2011 and will shred tires into pellets that will be combined with wood chips and burned as fuel at a new biomass steam generating plant at Savannah River Site.
The biomass facility was built by Massachusetts-based Ameresco, which has a 20-year, $795 million contract with the U.S. Energy Department to build and operate the 17-megawatt plant that will provide electricity for much of SRS.
A draft of the permit to be issued to Ameresco’s S.C. Tire Processing LLC was shared with residents and the public for a 30-day comment period that ended last week.
“The department did not receive any adverse comments,” said Joan Litton, solid waste permitting manager with DHEC’s Bureau of Land and Waste Management.
As a condition of obtaining a permit, the tire site cannot store more than 437,000 whole, unprocessed tires at any given time. If that capacity is reached, the plant must cease accepting more tires until the number in storage is below the limit.
The biomass plant in SRS’s F Area is designed to turn about 322,000 tons of fuel per year into about 20 megawatts of power. The shredded tires will provide up to 30 percent of the plant’s total heat value, which would involve approximately 30,000 tons per year of tire-derived fuel, according to company officials.