Thursday, January 14, 2010

Using Landfill Methane To Produce Electricity

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing eight landfill methane capture projects for their innovation in generating renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Awards were given in three categories:

Projects of the Year:

1) University of New Hampshire EcoLineTM Project, Rochester, N.H.;

2) Jefferson City, Missouri Renewable Energy Project, Jefferson City, Mo.;

3) The Altamont Landfill Resource and Recovery Facility, Livermore, Calif.;

4) Ox Mountain LFG Energy Project, Half Moon Bay, Calif.;

5) Sioux Falls Landfill & Poet LFG Pipeline, Sioux Falls, S.D.

6) Winder Renewable Methane Project, Winder, Ga.

7) The State Partner of the Year: Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and

8) The Community Partner of the Year: Kent County Department of Public Works, Byron Center, Mich.

Methane, a primary component of landfill gas (LFG), is a GHG with more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Using LFG provides a significant energy resource, prevents GHG emissions, and reduces odors and other hazards associated with emissions. This year’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) winning projects will avoid the emissions of 546,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the equivalent of annual GHG emissions from nearly 100,000 passenger vehicles. EPA’s LMOP has assisted with more than 450 LFG energy projects over the past 15 years.

The United States currently has about 509 operational LFG energy projects. The LFG electricity generation projects have a capacity of 1,563 megawatts (MW) and provide the energy equivalent of powering more than 920,000 homes annually. The direct-use projects provide an additional 304 million standard cubic feet of LFG per day and provide the energy equivalent of heating more than 715,000 homes annually. Direct-use LFG energy projects do not produce electricity, but instead use LFG as an alternative to replace another fuel such as natural gas or coal.
LMOP is a voluntary assistance and partnership program that reduces GHG emissions by supporting LFG energy project development. The program also assists countries throughout the world in developing landfill methane reduction projects through the international Methane to Markets Partnership.

More information on the awards:

More information on the LMOP

(EPA, illustration courtesy Nixon Energy Solutions)

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