In District Heating (DH), a large number of buildings are heated from a central source by conveying steam or hot water through a network of insulated pipes. Waste-to-Energy (WTE) signifies the controlled combustion of municipal solid wastes to generate electrical and thermal energy in a power plant. Both technologies have been developed simultaneously and are used widely in Europe. In the United States, however, WTE is used principally for the generation of electricity. The advantages of district heating using WTE plants are: overall fuel conservation, by increasing the thermal efficiency of WTE, and overall reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. The purpose of this study was to examine the current situation of district heating in the U.S. and determine the potential for applying DH to existing WTE plants. A preliminary evaluation was conducted of DH application at two WTE facilities in Connecticut: the Wheelabrator Bridgeport and the Covanta Preston facilities. Using a Canadian methodology, the minimal distribution heating network costs for Bridgeport were estimated at about $24 million dollars for providing heat to a surrounding area of one square mile and the DH revenues at $6.8 million.

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