Solapur has emerged as a state-wide leader in generating power from municipal solid waste. The municipal plant started producing four megawatts of power using a non-polluting thermophillic biomethanation method.
Thermophillic biomethanation process involves pre-treatment of mixed waste for maximum organic recovery, which is then subjected to controlled biological degradation to generate methane gas. This methane is then used to generate electricity. After treatment, the solid waste also yields high quality compost. The project, which took two years to complete, is worth Rs 60 crore and could be expanded to treat more solid waste. It uses 400 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day and would operate for next 25 years.
Suhas Bhand, chief visionary, Organic Recycling Systems Pvt. Ltd, which erected the Solapur plant, said that the model could be replicated in Mumbai where almost 7000 tonnes of waste is generated every day. Bhand said that the waste could be used to generate at least 50MW of power. "There will be no emission of hazardous gases."
The Solapur Municipal Corporation and ORS will sell power to Mahavitaran for Rs4.48 per unit. The plant will formally be dedicated to Solapur in a couple of weeks.
Success in Solapur has bagged Bhand a bigger project in Bangalore. His company will set up and run a project for 35 years. "The project will process 1000 tonnes of waste a day to generate 8.20 MW of power. We will spend Rs150 crore."
The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been thinking of putting in place such projects but has not made much progress. A senior official requesting anonymity said that such proposals had come to them in the past but they were unaware of the feasibility.