Thursday, May 17, 2018

Robins Community Power Plant (from trash)

The sixth photo that David Daruszka posted is of the east elevation of the Rock Island Bridges over the Cal Sag Channel. That photo has a tall smokestack in the left background. Looking at Google Map reveals it is the Robbins Community Power LLC.

3D Satellite
I commented: That is a power plant I didn't even know about,!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4... It has a coal pile, but it is small and there is no rail and/or barge unloading. It has some of the most modern looking buildings I have seen for a power plant. This plant is a puzzle.

David responded: That was a trash to electricity scheme that got shut down because of pollution issues. Someone tried to restart it but they were shut down too if I remember correctly.

My response was: Thanks. That explains why it looks rather different as a power station. And why it doesn't need rail or barge support --- there would be plenty of locally sourced trash.

"Foster Wheeler built the Robbins plant in the early 1990s to produce electricity by burning trash, but the process became too costly when Illinois stopped subsidizing incinerators." Foster Wheeler went bankrupt and shuttered the plant in 2000. In 2007 Sylvan Power bought the plant and planned to burn wood waste that would otherwise go to landfills: "including clean construction scraps, teardown debris and tree trimmings." [ChicagoBusiness] I assume the 2008 recession killed that effort.

The smoke stack is 385 feet tall. It appears that most of the current employment opportunities are for lawyers. [CookCountyRecord]

This photo of the MWRD sidestream elevated pool aeration in Blue Island shows the prominence of this structure and its smokestack in the middle background.
MWRD posted

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