Posted by: carboncreditsusa | December 2, 2008

Landfill In Lansing, MI, Will Generate 3.2 Megawatts Of Electricity From Methane Gas

large_landfillThe 20-cylinder, 2000-horsepower Caterpillar generators will fire up soon at a new power plant at the Whitefeather Landfill off of M-13 in Pinconning Township. The generators will be powered by methane gas from decomposing trash inside the landfill.

 

 

“…The new plant will generate up to 3.2 megawatts of power, or enough to light up 2,000 Bay County homes…”

“There are two generators for now – we hope to add more in the future,” said Jim Linton, plant operator with Granger Electric of Lansing….”

“This landfill is capable of handling, at its peak, six engines when it’s full,” Linton said.

http://blog.mlive.com/bctimes/2008/12/whitefeather_landfill_to_produ.html 

Two big yellow engines in northern Bay County will use trash for gas.

Republic Services, which operates the county’s sole landfill, spent about $5 million on the project. The new plant will generate up to 3.2 megawatts of power, or enough to light up 2,000 Bay County homes.

“There are two generators for now – we hope to add more in the future,” said Jim Linton, plant operator with Granger Electric of Lansing.

A 5,500-square-foot building has been constructed on the Whitefeather grounds to house the machines. The building includes Linton’s office and a conference room that will be used to educate school groups and others about alternative energy. An invitation-only open house for neighbors and local government officials happens on Wednesday.

“I think it’s great,” said Joe Saliga, Whitefeather’s general manager. “It’s the best thing that can happen for us.”

The electricity will be sold to Consumers Energy. The generators also will produce power for the new building.

The landfill gas will be fed to the machines through a compressor that extracts and filters the methane from a series of underground pipes connected to 45 wells at Whitefeather, Saliga said.

Linton figures he’ll be able to draw about 1,000 cubic feet of methane gas per minute from the existing landfill.

That number will rise as more nonhazardous waste from residential, commercial and industrial users decays at the site.

The new building was designed to accommodate up to one additional generator, Linton said.

“This landfill is capable of handling, at its peak, six engines when it’s full,” Linton said.

Whitefeather has about 14 years of life left, which was extended in October by an expansion permit granted by the Department of Environmental Quality, Saliga said.

When closed and capped, the landfill will continue to generate methane for 25 or more years, he said.

Republic also has received state permission to recirculate leachate, or water that percolates through the landfill mounds, to increase the site’s methane output and generate more electricity, Saliga said. Operators plan to begin that recirculation process in the spring, he said.

Linton said crews plan to begin test firing the generators later this month, and the plant will operate once Consumers finishes connecting it to an electrical substation about 2.5 miles away.

Linton said trash-to-electricity plants are growing along with other alternative energy systems like wind and solar.

The new plant will emit the same amount of methane, a greenhouse gas, as before, when the landfill just burned off the gas with flares. But the methane will burn cleaner than traditional power sources like coal.

“We put in four plants this year,” including others in Lansing, near Grand Rapids and in Salt Lake City, Utah, Linton said.

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