EPA names landfill gas projects of the year

By Anna Simet | February 05, 2014

Through its Landfill Methane Outreach Program, the U.S. EPA has recognized three U.S. landfill gas-to-energy projects as being exceptional projects of 2013. LMOP describes its project-of-the-year designation as exhibiting innovation and creativity while contributing to job creation, providing energy savings and generating green power.

The Gaston County Solid Waste and Recycling Division in North Carolina was named the 2013 Community Partner of the Year for its Eco-Industrial Park, which hosts a voluntary gas collection system, a 2.8-megawatt (MW) landfill gas-to-electricity plant, and has grading and utility hook ups in place. The park was designed to accommodate additional landfill gas (LFG) engines in the future, and plans to make excess landfill gas, as well as waste heat from the power plant available to future park tenants, which include a biodiesel facility and a food waste anaerobic digester.

In Pennsylvania, the Blue Ridge Renewable Energy Plant was named a 2013 Project of the Year. Under this partnership, landfill gas supplier IESI Blue Ridge Landfill, power purchaser Borough of Chambersburg, and project developer PPL Renewable Energy worked together to bring a 6.4-MW LFG electricity project on line after seven months of construction.

In addition to designing, constructing, owning, and operating the LFG electricity plant at the landfill, PPLRE designed, permitted and built a dedicated,  four-mile Express Generator Feeder from the plant to the Borough’s Cree substation. Waste that Borough residents and businesses deposited in the landfill now supplies about 15 percent of its 11,000 customers’ electric needs, and the price of electricity those customers pay has decreased. The project also generates 50,000 renewable energy credits annually toward meeting the state renewable portfolio standard goal.

In Georgia, the Seminole Road Landfill Renewable Fuels Facility was also named a 2013 Project of the Year. With Recovery Act Funds, DeKalb County, which had an existing landfill gas-to-electricity project but excess LFG, built a renewable compressed natural gas (CNG) facility and purchased 40 CNG-fuelled waste collection trucks.  Additionally, some CNG is upgraded to pipeline quality and delivered into the nearby Atlanta Gas Light pipeline.

As of July 2013, there were 621 operational landfill gas-to-energy projects and 450 sites with potential, according to LMOP. Generation of electricity from LFG makes up about three–fourths of the currently operational projects in the U.S.