November 16, 2017
CT Green Guide

Trash/recycling plant to provide $1M to Hartford

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo
The MIRA plant in Hartford will pay the city an additional $1 million by Dec. 1.

The recently enacted state budget, which provides a restructuring lifeline to the city of Hartford, also requires a recycling and trash-to-energy plant that processes one-third of Connecticut's garbage to pay the city $1 million.

The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) is required to make the payment by Dec. 1.

Mayor Luke Bronin said in a recent interview that the payment is justified because MIRA received an infusion of money from a legislative change earlier this year meant to drive up the value of tax credits waste-to-energy plants generate when they incinerate garbage.

"... we believe it's appropriate MIRA pay some portion of that revenue to the city in light of the fact they take up some very strategic land in the city," Bronin said.

Specifically, Public Act 17-144 made trash-to-energy facilities the exclusive generators of Class II credits under the state's renewable portfolio standard. The Class II category previously included certain biomass and hydropower facilities.

The new law also requires utilities to purchase more Class II renewable credits starting in 2018.

In recent years, a glut of Class II credits has driven down prices, cutting into a revenue stream for trash-to-energy plants.

Just a few years ago, MIRA provided a $4 million to $5 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes to the city. Under an agreement with former Mayor Pedro Segarra, that payment fell to approximately $1 million.

"This still leaves them paying only roughly half of what they paid only a few years ago," Bronin said.

State officials are currently weighing the future of MIRA. Several years ago, the legislature ordered the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to find a private developer to modernize the plant.

DEEP said it expects to pick a developer by year's end.

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