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Babcock & Wilcox Volund is building the Amager Bakke waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 60 megawatt flexible plant named Copenhill is Denmark’s 27th W-T-E plant and first ski slope will be owned by five Danish Munis. The flex plant can balance 5,070 mws of wind and 784 mws of solar. First firing will take place this summer with completion scheduled for 2017.

The $389 million plant will treat 400,000 tons of waste annually from 700,000 residents and 46,000 businesses and supply electricity to 62,500 homes and district heating for 160,000 households. Steam reaches 440 degrees and 70 bars doubling the electrical efficiency compared to the former plant. Several thousand new jobs are being created.

Copenhill replaces a 45 year old, 29 mw plant to reduce sulphur emissions by 99.5 percent, an ESP to control particle emissions and minimize nox emissions with the first installed SCR in a W-T-E plant in Denmark. The plant will also recover 100 million liters of spare water through flue gas condensation, separate 10,000 tons of metal and reuse 100,000 tons of bottom ash for road material, saving large amounts of gravel.

World-Gen spoke with Ole Hedagarrd Madsen, Director of Technology and Marketing at B&W Volund in his Copenhagen office. “It makes sense to sort out metal, glass, paper and plastic. We should try to keep the clean materials separate, reuse everything that we can and process what’s left by recycling the resources,” said Madsen. He explains that they can then also destroy any medicine remains contained in the waste, as well as phthalates, bacteria and pesticides, instead of spreading them on the fields and thereby sending the unwanted substances into their food production cycle.

Madsen added: “Under all circumstances, we are dependent on fuel for our combined heat and power (CHP) plants. But we are no more dependent on waste than we are on fossil fuels or we will be on biofuels. Waste just has a number of advantages. It is a local resource that we produce ourselves. It requires almost no transportation. We are not clearing any forests in other countries. We are not dependent on insecure regimes. We are destroying chemicals, and it’s cheap fuel. The quality requirements for water recovered from waste combustion at plants are more stringent than the requirements for drinking water.””

In addition to its technological merits, the plant’s architecture includes a roof-wide 32,000 m2 ski slope designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. “It is a multi-purpose plant that is already catching the eyes of the world because of its local appeal. The plant provides energy and waste treatment and will be an architectural landmark and a leisure facility,” Madsen shared. The ski slope will operate year round with wet snow seasonally and plastic snow in the summer months. It will have a glass enclosed elevator to the top and ski lifts.

Bjarke Ingels is the founder and creative partner of BIG. Ingals was named one of the TIME’s 100 most influential people in April, 2016. BIG has projects underway globally including 2 World Trade Center in New York.

This is World-Gen’s second feature on waste-to-energy plants, and both are by Babcock & Wilcox. (See WTE-Renewable Fuel, 2014.)