Converting the gas that comes off of landfills into a form of renewable energy is one area yet to see much action. Veolia Energy looks to be changing that however, recently announcing it is building a 4.8-megawatt (MW) capacity landfill gas-to-energy project in eastern Wisconsin which will start creating clean energy by early summer 2011.
The Veolia Environmental Services North America Hickory Meadows project will reportedly have the initial capacity to generate 42,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per year, enough to power 2,800 homes. It will. according to Veolia, consist of three landfill reciprocating engine generator sets with a capacity of 1.6 MW each, fueled exclusively by the landfill gas. Landfill gas, which is normally burned off, will be captured and sent via the landfill’s existing gas collection system to the facility, where it will be transformed into electricity.
Power generated by the plant will be used by Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), the primary electricity and gas provider for northeastern Wisconsin residents. WPS recently signed a power purchase agreement with Veolia for all of the plant’s power. It will be using the clean energy generated from this plant to help meet a Renewable Portfolio Standard established by Wisconsin which calls for “utilities to meet a gradually increasing percentage of retail sales with qualified renewable sources with the goal of providing 10% of the state’s retail energy needs from renewable resources by 2015.”
It is estimated by Veolia Energy, which manages more than 2,400 MW of alternative and renewable energy facilities globally, that a 4.8 MW landfill gas-to-energy plant such as this could be expected to achieve carbon dioxide emission reductions of over 25,000 tons per year, or the equivalent of removing 37,550 automobiles from the road each year.
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