Landfill Gas Projects Transform Trash into Clean Energy

April 7, 2011

Six landfill methane capture projects, including a 10-megawatt power plant and a project that powers manufacturing at a green business park, recently earned honors from the EPA for generating renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The winning projects, which were announced at the Landfill Methane Outreach Program Conference in Baltimore, will avoid the emission of the equivalent of 165,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide, about the same as the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 31,600 passenger vehicles.

This year's awardees include:

  • Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority Small Engine Project, Christiansburg, VA
  • Frederick County Electricity Project, Winchester, VA
  • Crow Wing County Small On-Site LFG Boiler Project, Brainerd, MN
  • Hoffman Road LFG and Bay View WWTP Digester Gas 10-MW Project, Toledo, OH
  • Newton County Renewable Energy Park LFG Direct-Use Project, Brook, IN

The direct-use projects will use 830 standard cubic feet of methane per minute, and the electricity-generating projects can generate a total of 13.3 megawatts.

Methane, a major component of landfill gas, is a greenhouse gas that has more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. In addition to preventing greenhouse gas emission, using methane as fuel takes advantage of a renewable energy source and reduces odors and other hazards associated with methane emissions.

The U.S. has about 540 operational landfill gas energy projects. The electricity generation projects among them have a total capacity of about 1,680 megawatts and provide the energy equivalent of powering more than 994,000 homes each year.

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