Despite a formal protest from the second-place bidder for a 3,000-ton-per-day waste-to-energy facility, the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County awarded a $668-million design-build contract to a team of Babcock & Wilcox and BE&K to design, construct and operate the facility. B&W's design-build estimate of $668 million was roughly $62 million higher than that of Wheelabrator, the division of Waste Management Corp. that placed second. However, SWA factored in the value of electrical generation and recoverable materials that each team guaranteed their respective designs would deliver to the authority for a net present-value calculation. Under that formula, B&W's proposal has a net present value of $500.5 million, and Wheelabrator's has a value of $626.6 million, says SWA. Construction should start late next year. Commercial operation is planned by May 2015.