Continuing its partnership with Waste Management, (NYSE: WM), the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) marks the five-year anniversary of its Landfill Gas to Electricity (LFGTE) Plant. The power plant utilizes gas from the Regional Landfill to create green electricity. The facility currently creates roughly 26,600 megawatt hours per year, or enough renewable energy to power more than 3,300 homes.
The electricity from this project is created through a process called landfill-gas-to-energy. As organic materials, like food waste, decompose inside the landfill, gas composed of about 55 percent methane is created. Collection wells placed all over the site currently absorb this gas and route it to either a flare for destruction or the gas is piped to the energy facility where it is filtered and pressurized. From there, it is used as a fuel to run two engine generators. The facility was designed so that as gas flows increase over time, additional generators could be added to produce more power; because of the collection system’s recent expansion, more fuel is now available from it.
“Since opening the facility, we have generated enough electricity to take care of the annual electrical need of over 14,800 homes,” said William Rabbia, Authority Executive Director. “While we continue to generate green electricity, we use the project’s proceeds to fund Authority programs, keeping costs down for residents and businesses in the two Counties. These proceeds helped the Authority in lowering solid waste tipping fees for four out of the past five years.”
When compared to fossil fuels, as well as other renewable sources of energy, including wind and solar, landfill gas has several benefits:
• It’s endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency as an energy alternative to fossil fuels.
• It’s not dependent on other environmental factors, like wind or sunlight.
• It’s reliable during peak energy hours.
• It’s an economical alternative to other fuel sources, like natural gas.
“As the largest landfill-gas-to-energy developer and operator in North America, we are harnessing energy to power homes, industries and even fuel vehicles,” said Paul Pabor, Vice President of Renewable Energy for Waste Management. “We are pleased to see the plant we developed for the Authority increase its capacity to provide clean electricity.”
For more information on the Authority and its various programs, please visit www.ohswa.org. You may also visit the Authority’s YouTube Channel (OHSWA) or its Facebook page (Oneida Herkimer Solid Waste Authority).