Seven innovative landfill methane capture projects were recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for generating renewable energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Announced at the 12th annual Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) conference, the seven winners included a project that converts landfill gas to fuel for county vehicles, and one of the largest multiple-customer landfill gas use projects in the country.
“Our award winners demonstrate that through partnerships and innovation we can transform waste into environmental wealth,” said Robert J. Meyers, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “These projects, and others like them, not only address climate change, but also produce renewable energy and economic benefits for the local community.”
Methane, a primary component of landfill gas (LFG), is a greenhouse gas with more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Methane emissions from landfills represent an opportunity to capture and use a significant energy resource. Instead of allowing LFG to escape into the air, it can be captured, converted, and used as an energy source.
EPA has assisted in the development of more than 360 LFG energy projects over the past 13 years. Currently, there are approximately 470 LFG energy projects operational in the United States. Electricity projects generate an estimated 11.5 billion kilowatt-hours per year, equivalent to powering 915,000 households. Direct use projects deliver 80 billion cubic feet per year of LFG, equivalent to heating more than 700,000 homes. EPA estimates that 520 additional landfills present attractive opportunities for project development.
The 2008 LFG award winning energy projects employed unique project structures and took creative approaches to use LFG from municipal solid waste landfills, creating a new source of renewable energy to benefit the local community. The winners are:
LMOP Projects of the Year
Granger, Conestoga Landfill Gas Utilization Project, Morgantown, Pa.
Green Energy Center, High Btu Landfill Gas Energy Project, Grove City, Ohio
Greenville Gas Producers, LLC and County of Greenville, Greenville, S.C.
LMOP Industry Partner
Casella Waste Systems Inc., Angelica, Morrisonville, and Seneca, N.Y.; and Hampden, Maine.
LMOP Energy Partner
Lansing Board of Water and Light, Lansing, Mich.
Mars Snackfood US, Waco, Texas
LMOP Community Partner
Seward County Landfill, Seward County, Kan.
More information on Landfill Methane Outreach Program and awardees: http://www.epa.gov/lmop