Press Room

Wheelabrator Portsmouth Receives 2015 Inside Business River Star Hall of Fame Award

Recognized for its Environmental Stewardship Practices

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — (February 17, 2015) — Renewable energy provider Wheelabrator Portsmouth was recently recognized for its environmental initiatives to help protect the Elizabeth River by receiving the 2015 Inside Business River Star Hall of Fame Award.

The energy-from-waste facility, which provides steam to the nearby Norfolk Naval Shipyard and clean electricity for sale to the local utility, was nominated for the award by the Elizabeth River Project (ERP) for best exemplifying the spirit of the River Star program. Wheelabrator Portsmouth was acknowledged for demonstrating exemplary leadership over the length of its involvement in the program to "do right by the river" through responsible environmental stewardship practices. “Wheelabrator Portsmouth and its employees are exemplary in every way,” says ERP’s River Star Program Manager Pam Boatwright. “We’ve seen a lot of paradigm shifts and this one is certainly up there as one of the most significant turnarounds of a very complex industry.”

Wheelabrator Portsmouth acquired the energy-from-waste facility in 2010 from the Southeast Public Service Authority (SPSA) and has since made numerous upgrades and environmental enhancements to the facilities.

At its recent River Star luncheon, ERP highlighted some of Wheelabrator Portsmouth’s enhancements, including:

  • Addition of new comprehensive air quality control system
  • Installation of four stormwater treatment systems that now filter runoff from 16.8 acres
  • Planting of 180 trees and 60 shrubs along Victory Boulevard
  • Replacement of the existing odor control system to reduce and/or eliminate potential odors

“Wheelabrator Portsmouth extends its sincerest gratitude to the Elizabeth River Project and Inside Business for recognizing our renewable energy facility and employees with this year’s Hall of Fame Award for our ongoing environmental initiatives,” said Wheelabrator Portsmouth Plant Manager Rob Johnson. “As a strong advocate for the environment, we take our responsibility as an engaged corporate citizen in the Elizabeth River area very seriously. We are proud of what we have accomplished here in Hampton Roads, and look forward to continuing our efforts to ensure a sustainable future for the region and its natural resources.”

Wheelabrator is an important economic player in Hampton Roads with a positive local annual economic impact of $68 million, including spending on goods and services and jobs, as estimated by one of the state’s leading economists, Dr. James Koch, Board of Visitors professor of economics and president emeritus at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Koch prepared a comprehensive study on the benefits of having the energy-from-waste facility in the region. For a copy of the report, please call Wheelabrator Portsmouth Plant Manager Rob Johnson at 757-393-3100 or email

Headquartered in Hampton, New Hampshire, Wheelabrator creates clean, renewable energy from everyday residential and business waste. Wheelabrator has a current platform of 15 energy-from-waste facilities, four independent power-producing facilities, four ash monofills and three waste transfer stations. Wheelabrator has an annual waste processing capacity of over 7.4 million tons, and a total combined electric generating capacity of 768 megawatts — enough energy to power more than 645,000 homes. Wheelabrator facilities also recover metals from ash for recycling into commercial products. For more on Wheelabrator, please visit