With the development of clean, renewable energy emerging as the growth industry in the 21st century, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) is constructing a new biomass facility located at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. The new Biomass Cogeneration Facility will replace a deteriorating, inefficient coal powerhouse and oil-fired boilers and generate savings of approximately $35 million a year in energy, operation, and maintenance costs while removing 100,000 tons per year of greenhouse gases from the site’s emissions.
ESI Inc. of Tennessee was contracted to engineer and design the energy-efficient plant, and used AutoPLANT to facilitate a more effective means of communication among the contractors, vendors, engineers, and the client, creating cost and time-saving efficiencies in all aspects of the design, engineering, and construction processes. Snapshot views from the 3D model are being used instead of traditional 2D orthographic drawings on site to expedite installation.
The renewable biomass-fueled plant will cogenerate electricity to supply some of the power requirements for DOE’s Savannah River Site as well as the surrounding power grid. In addition to carbon dioxide emissions reduction, the plant will eliminate 400 tons per year of particulate emissions and 3,500 tons per year of sulfur dioxide emissions, and decrease water intake from the Savannah River by 1.4 billion gallons per year.
This project was the winner of the Power Generation category of the 2010 Year in Infrastructure Awards, now known as the Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure.