MARCH 2011
                                        

Energy projects transform trash to green power

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized six landfill methane capture projects and partners for their innovation in generating renewable energy and protecting the climate and people’s health by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. EPA has assisted with more than 490 landfill gas energy projects over the past 16 years, transforming waste into a green community asset. Landfill gas electricity generation projects have a capacity of 1,680 megawatts (MW) and provide the energy equivalent of powering more than 994,000 homes annually as a clean energy source. The United States currently has about 540 operational landfill gas energy projects.

The six winners, announced at the 14th Annual Landfill Methane Outreach Program Conference in Baltimore, include a project that powers manufacturing at a green business park in Indiana and a 10 megawatt combined cycle power plant in Ohio. These projects will contribute to job creation and provide energy savings and green power generation.

Methane, a primary component of landfill gas, is a GHG with more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Using landfill gas has several benefits: it provides a significant energy resource, prevents GHG emissions, and reduces odors and other hazards associated with emissions.

This year’s winning projects will avoid the emissions of 165,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. This reduction is equivalent to the annual GHG emissions from more than 31,600 passenger vehicles or the carbon dioxide emissions from 385,200 barrels of oil consumed. The direct-use projects will use 830 standard cubic feet per minute and the electricity-generating projects total 13.3 megawatts of generation capacity.

Awardees are Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority Small Engine Project, Christiansburg, Virginia; Frederick County Electricity Project, Winchester, Virginia; Crow Wing County Small On-site LFG Boiler Project, Brainerd, Minnesota; Hoffman Road LFG and Bay View WWTP Digester Gas 10-MW Project, Toledo, Ohio; and Newton County Renewable Energy Park LFG Direct-Use Project, Brook, Indiana. The community partner of the year is Escambia County, Pensacola, Florida.