Casella opens 4.8 megawatt gas-to-energy facility

Casella Waste Systems, Inc. announced that it is operating its Hyland landfill gas-to-energy plant and producing clean energy from landfill methane gas ahead of schedule. This facility is the company’s fourth landfill gas-to-energy project.

The new landfill gas-to-energy plant, located at the company’s Hyland landfill in Angelica, New York, is expected to produce 4.8 megawatts per hour of clean energy, or enough renewable electricity to power over 5,000 households. Casella deployed its low-emission landfill model at the Hyland site with a state-of-the-art gas collection system collecting landfill gases, which are then scrubbed and used to power Caterpillar generators.

Beyond producing clean energy, the facility will reduce carbon dioxide equivalents – greenhouse gases – by eliminating landfill methane emissions and displacing the use of fossil fuel with renewable energy. In total, the emissions savings are equivalent to taking approximately 40,000 cars off the roads each year. The Hyland facility is expected to produce clean energy for well over 25 years.

John W. Casella, chairman and chief executive officer of Casella Waste Systems, said, “By producing clean energy at this site, we are creating additional economic value from the waste stream, long after we were paid to haul and safely dispose of the material.”

“We believe that waste is no longer just a throw-away, but is instead a raw material for manufacturing new products and a resource for producing clean energy,” said Casella. “We are positioning the company to take advantage of significant economic, environmental policy and cultural shifts by pursuing opportunities that create both economic and environmental value from waste.”

Casella and its partners are now producing roughly 20 megawatts per hour of clean energy at four of the company’s landfills. This clean energy is powering roughly 20,000 homes and the emissions savings are equivalent to taking approximately 165,000 cars off the roads each year. The company expects to begin producing clean energy at its Clinton County landfill gas-to-energy facility during the third quarter of fiscal year 2009 and at its Southbridge landfill gas-to-energy facility during the first half of fiscal year 2010. When these 2 new facilities come on-line, the company and its partners will be producing approximately 28 megawatts-per-hour of clean electricity at 6 landfill gas-to-energy facilities.