Landfill gas energy purchased by American utility company

June 16, 2014 0 By Amanda Giasson
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Landfill Gas to energy projects

A waste to energy plant in Delaware is providing power to Delaware Electric Cooperative.

The Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s landfill gas to energy facility located in Sandtown, Delaware is selling 2 MW (megawatts) of the power it generates at its plant to the state’s non-profit utility.

The energy purchased can sufficiently power the homes of 1,200 Co-op members.

The power created at the plant is directly sent to homes of Delaware Electric Co-op (DEC) members, which means that the utility does not have to pay transmission fees for the distribution of electricity to its members. As a result, electricity can be purchased at an incredibly competitive rate.

The project was developed by Ameresco, a top renewable energy and energy efficiency company that also built the alternative energy plant. The energy produced at the site is generated by two engines that are powered by methane. These engines transform the methane gas that results from decomposing trash into electricity.

“By converting otherwise harmful landfill gas into a cleaner, more reliable source of electricity, we reduce our dependence on out-of-state sources and improve our environment in a way that makes economic sense. I commend the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, the Delaware Electric Cooperative and Ameresco for their partnership,” said Governor Jack Markell. He also commented that the waste-to-energy (W2E) project is an example of the efforts the state needs to make to meet its goals for renewable energy.

The landfill gas to energy project is anticipated to lower emissions at the landfill site.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a 60% – 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at landfills is made possible by energy from waste projects. By utilizing the methane gas to create energy, the gas isn’t being burned off so emissions are not released into the air.

Bill Andrew, the president and CEO of Delaware Electric Cooperative, said that this marks the first time the non-profit company has bought power from a landfill gas site and that Co-op is looking forward to partnering with additional landfills in the state in the future. At present, DEC buys or produces 10% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. Under state law, by 2025, all Delaware utilities will be required to produce or purchase 25% of their power from renewable sources.