BMW Manufacturing Powers Up with Methane Gas from Landfill
Spartanburg, SC— BMW Manufacturing Corp. began
using recycled methane gas as an energy source. The recycled methane gas,
drawn from the Palmetto Landfill near Spartanburg, will supply BMW with
25 percent of its energy needs. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
Christine Todd Whitman participated in the announcement.
"This is a win-win for everyone. It avoids the
need to vent methane directly into the air at the landfill. It yields
significant amounts of clean energy. And, by avoiding 55,000 tons of carbon
dioxide emissions each year, it results in cleaner, healthier air for
everyone to breathe," said Whitman.
BMW's project is unique in that the methane gas is used
to fuel four turbines at the BMW factory, which produce electricity and
hot water. This efficient cogeneration of electricity and hot water has
been a part of BMW's overall plan since construction began on the plant
BMW's Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project supports the Environmental
Protection Agency's efforts in the Landfill Methane Outreach Program,
which began in 1994 as a means of converting landfill gas into clean-burning,
cost-effective, useable energy.
• The energy provided by recycled methane gas
will supply BMW Manufacturing Corp. with 25% of its energy needs.
• To utilize the gas, a 9.5-mile pipeline was
built from Palmetto Landfill to BMW Manufacturing Corp. BMW's project
is unique in the fact that most other landfill gas projects create energy
at the landfill and send through wires. BMW will pipe gas to drive generators.
• BMW's landfill project is the only project that
co-generates electricity and hot water for use at an industrial location
remote from the landfill.
• Landfills are the largest man-made methane source
in the United States. Methane is produced as trash decomposes. When released
into the air, it is a greenhouse gas and contributes to local smog conditions.
• By recycling methane gas, BMW is able to improve
local air quality by lowering regional emissions of greenhouse gases (methane
and carbon dioxide).
• BMW's landfill gas-to-energy project will reduce
carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to driving 105 million miles per year
or more than 4,000 times around the earth.
• BMW's landfill gas-to-energy project will recover
sufficient energy to heat the equivalent of 15,000 homes per year.
• Ameresco designed, built and owns the pipeline,
gas processing and gas compression facilities, as well as manages the
overall operations of the project.
• Waste Management, which owns and operates the
Palmetto Landfill, has been developing landfill gas-to-energy projects
for more than 15 years and currently supplies landfill gas to 69 gas-to-energy
projects in 21 states.