Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman joined Vectren President and COO Carl Chapman, Energy Systems Group President Jim Adams and Michael Dougherty, regional vice president eastern region, Veolia Environmental Services, Solid Waste, in officially opening the Blackfoot Clean Energy Facility, a landfill gas-to-electricity project at Veolia’s Winslow, Indiana, landfill.
Vectren recently received regulatory approval to take ownership of the Pike County facility, which generates electricity by capturing landfill gas emitted from decomposing trash and using it as a fuel source to power two generators. The renewable energy project, which was developed by Veolia Environmental Services (ES) Solid Waste and Energy Systems Group (ESG,) will generate 3.2 MW or enough energy to power approximately 2,000 homes.
“This effort is another example of using homegrown Indiana energy to power Hoosier homes and businesses in an environmentally friendly way,” said Lt. Gov. Skillman. “Successfully utilizing the landfill’s methane, which would otherwise be burned off or released into the atmosphere, is certainly a testament to using energy wisely – both from an economic and environmental perspective.”
“This project represents a solid step forward in our region’s potential for renewable energy, and it certainly made sense for Vectren to find an opportunity to use it to serve our southwestern Indiana customers,” said Chapman. “We’re proud of our subsidiary company, Energy Systems Group, for reaching out to Veolia ES Solid Waste and working together to harvest this local energy source. This is the third landfill gas-to-energy project for ESG and the tenth for Veolia ES Solid Waste, and it now has become Vectren’s first 100-percent-owned renewable effort.”
Vectren, together with ESG and Veolia ES Solid Waste, expects to generate electricity from the landfill site for the next 20 to 25 years. By capturing these landfill gases, the sustainable project is helping provide environmental benefits equivalent to the removal of emissions from more than 22,000 cars per year or the planting of about 27,000 acres of forest annually.
“We’ve been fortunate to find great partners like Veolia ES Solid Waste to help develop several renewable energy projects. Clean energy has become a high-growth area of our business,” said Adams. “However, as a company that calls southwestern Indiana home, we’re especially proud of this effort in our backyard and anticipate developing others throughout Indiana.”
“The Blackfoot project allows Veolia ES Solid Waste to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and turn waste into a functional power source for the local community,” said Dougherty. “It’s certainly a win-win effort for all the partners involved, including the residents of southwestern Indiana.”
For Vectren, this is the third renewable energy project in the last two years. In December 2007, the utility signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with a Benton County, Ind., wind farm for 30 MW and recently received regulatory approval to buy an additional 50 MW of wind power from Phase II of the Fowler Ridge wind farm, which is under construction in Benton County. Together, these three initiatives create enough renewable energy to power 25,000 homes and allow Vectren to meet nearly 5 percent of its customers’ needs with renewable energy.
Vectren’s electric utility serves more than 140,000 customers in all or portions of seven counties in southwestern Indiana, including Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer, Gibson, Posey, Pike and Dubois.
Vectren Corporation (NYSE: VVC) is an energy holding company headquartered in Evansville, Ind. Vectren’s energy delivery subsidiaries provide gas and/or electricity to more than one million customers in adjoining service territories that cover nearly two-thirds of Indiana and west central Ohio. Vectren’s nonutility subsidiaries and affiliates currently offer energy-related products and services to customers throughout the Midwest and Southeast. These include gas marketing and related services; coal production and sales; and energy infrastructure services. To learn more about Vectren, visit www.vectren.com