It has a new name, but it’s still the proposed gasification plant for Lithonia.
Green Energy Partners filed a permit with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in April to construct a 10- to 12-megawatt “biomass fuel electric generating facility,” on 21 acres at 1770 Rogers Lake Road in unincorporated Lithonia.
Construction would begin in August on the facility, which would be called the Green Energy Resource Center.
The plant will process approximately 165,000 tons per year of untreated wood and yard waste. The wood waste, called biomass, will be fed into a “combustion system, which is a close-coupled gasification process,” according to the permit.
“The combustion system gasifies the biomass fuel in the lower portion of the furnace and in the upper portion in close proximity to the water walled hybrid boiler,” the permit application stated.
Approximately 96 percent of the emissions from the process, which includes sulfur dioxide, mono-nitrogen oxides and hydrogen chloride, will be removed by a ceramic filter system, according to the 62-page permit application.
The proposed gasification plant came under fire from opponents who expressed concerns about the health risks associated with emissions from the proposed project.
In response Neville Anderson, chief executive officer of Green Energy Partners, maintained that similar facilities around the country have had no negative health impact.
Anderson did not return phone calls for this story.
After the Board of Commissioners approved the facility in June 2011, an environmental group, Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment, filed a lawsuit against DeKalb County to prevent the construction of the facility.
The lawsuit claims the county engaged in “contract rezoning” when it granted a special land use permit for the facility after the county already had signed a contract with Green Energy Partners to sell wood waste for an estimated $200,000 per year.
In July 2011, Green Energy Partners pulled its permit application after developers failed to complete the environmental permit application in time. The withdrawal was in response to an EPD request for additional information on the planned gasification process to be used in the plant.
Anderson has said that during construction the project would bring 500 temporary construction jobs and add $60 million to the county’s tax base. Nearly 100 permanent jobs would be created to run the facility.