Dairyland Power’s landfill gas plant earns EPA award

La Crosse, WI— Dairyland Power Cooperative has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Landfill Methane Outreach Program’s (LMOP) 2004 Energy Partner of the Year award for the ONYX Seven Mile Creek Landfill Gas-to-Energy plant. Dairyland was selected for its success launching the innovative plant, and the environmental benefits of the renewable energy facility.

The Seven Mile Creek landfill gas plant is located near Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in Eau Claire Energy Cooperative’s service territory (a Dairyland member). The three unit, three megawatt renewable energy facility became operational in April 2004, with the ability to provide electricity to over 2,600 homes.

“The Dairyland project represents the best in the landfill gas industry and LMOP is pleased to recognize your accomplishment,” said Brian Guzzone, team leader of the EPA landfill methane program, which promotes the use of landfill gas as a renewable, green energy source.

Additionally, Ameresco, a project partner responsible for the design and construction of the facility, was selected to receive the EPA 2004 LMOP Industry Partner of the Year award.

Dairyland contracted with ONYX Waste Services, Inc., to purchase methane gas collected at the Seven Mile Creek Landfill, a regional collector of residential waste. The gas, a natural byproduct of the landfill, is used by Dairyland to generate renewable energy for members of its cooperative system.

The environmental benefits are significant. Prior to the facility’s operation, the methane gas created by the landfill was wasted, simply burned off into the atmosphere. EPA reports that 2004 reductions in methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) from landfill gas-to-energy projects such as the Seven Mile Creek plant has the same annual climate benefit as planting 17 million acres of forest.

With headquarters in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 20 municipal utilities. Dairyland’s service area encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois). Dairyland has provided low-cost, reliable electrical energy and related services to its customers in the upper Midwest for over 62 years.

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