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EPA honours two US landfills for 2013 gas energy use

Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency recognizes excellence in innovation and creativity for the promotion of landfill gas (LFG) energy.


Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency recognizes excellence in innovation and creativity for the promotion of landfill gas (LFG) energy.

On January 22, 2014, the following partners of the Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) accepted awards at the 17th Annual Conference and Project Expo in Baltimore, Maryland.

2013 Projects of the Year: LMOP recognized two projects that create renewable energy from a local source, while protecting the climate and strengthening the economy. Together, these projects will avoid the emissions of 276,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, which is the equivalent of the carbon sequestered annually by more than 200,000 acres of U.S. forests or the carbon dioxide emissions from more than 600,000 barrels of oil consumed.

  • Blue Ridge Renewable Energy Plant, Pennsylvania — A true private/public partnership, LFG supplier IESI Blue Ridge Landfill, power purchaser Borough of Chambersburg, and project developer PPL Renewable Energy (PPLRE) worked closely together to bring this 6.4-megawatt LFG electricity project online after only seven months of construction. In addition to designing, constructing, owning, and operating the LFG electricity plant at the landfill, PPLRE designed, permitted, and built the dedicated, 4-mile Express Generator Feeder (EGF) from the plant to the Borough’s Cree substation. The Borough obtained easements for the EGF, assumed ownership of the line upon project completion, and will maintain it. The EGF traversed several obstacles, including a shopping mall, a high-voltage power line, an interstate, wetlands, a stream, a housing subdivision, and a farmer’s fields, and was also structured to minimize impacts on birds. Successful completion of this project was particularly satisfying and is an example of determination in overcoming the odds, as interconnection-related issues had thwarted other developers for years. Coming full circle, waste that Borough residents and businesses deposited in the landfill now supplies about 15 percent of its 11,000 customers’ electric needs, plus the Borough was able to decrease the price of electricity those customers pay. In addition, the project generates 50,000 renewable energy credits (RECs) annually toward meeting the state RPS goal.
  • Seminole Road Landfill Renewable Fuels Facility, Georgia — With an LFG electricity project thriving for several years, DeKalb County wanted to find a creative outlet for its excess LFG. Given air permitting limitations for engines and a desire to save money and reduce emissions from county vehicles, self-developing a renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable compressed natural gas (RCNG) project was the way to go. In 2010, the county received about $7 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to build its Renewable Fuels Facility (RFF) and to purchase about 40 new CNG-fueled waste collection trucks. In the RFF, contaminants such as hydrogen sulfide, siloxanes, VOCs, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen are removed from approximately 550 standard cubic feet per minute of LFG to create RNG. Some of the RNG is delivered into the nearby Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) pipeline, while the rest is dried and compressed to become RCNG, which is then dispensed to county vehicles and the public at the onsite fuelling station. The county, surrounding community, and environment benefit from the RCNG station, as it offers a fuel price lower than diesel or gasoline and will offset the use of 15 million gallons of these fossil fuels each year. Large windows in the RFF building allow convenient and safe viewing of the operations for a range of visitors from local students to international technical delegates.

 

  • 2013 Community Partner of the Year: Gaston County Solid Waste and Recycling Division, North Carolina — Forward-thinking Gaston County identified three primary sustainability goals in 2008 related to its waste management practices: reduce landfill emissions, produce renewable energy, and provide infrastructure for a new Eco-Industrial Park. With a voluntary gas collection system installed, a self-developed LFG electricity project (2.8 megawatts) in operation, and the Park’s grading and utility hook-ups in place, the county is well on its way to realizing all of its main objectives. The Renewable Energy Center was designed to accommodate additional LFG engines in the future, and also has a solar panel array on its roof for bonus renewable electricity to offset the building’s parasitic load. Several local, state, and federal officials have toured the Center to learn about LFG energy, and county staff visit schools to educate students about a range of waste-related topics including a hands-on landfill model. The Park was designed to interconnect with the Center, and the county plans to make excess LFG as well as waste heat from the LFG electricity project available to future Park tenants. The Park is intended as a location for “green” businesses to grow and thrive, and potential tenants include a biodiesel facility and a food-waste anaerobic digester.

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