Landfill Gas to Energy Project Fires Up in Wisconsin

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17 August 2011

Veolia Environnement North America (VENA) has commenced operations at its new Landfill Gas to Energy (LFGTE) project at the Hickory Meadows Landfill, located in eastern Wisconsin.

According to the company, the project has the capacity to generate 42,000 MWh of electricity per year, enough to power 2800 homes, and features three reciprocating Caterpillar landfill gas engine generator sets with a capacity of 1.6 MW each, fuelled exclusively by the landfill gas.

The gas, which consists of about 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide, is naturally generated through the anaerobic decomposition of organic material in a landfill.

The gas at this site had previously been captured and flared in a controlled manor.

According to Veolia, the gas is now distributed via the landfill's existing gas collection system to the renewable power facility, where liquid and particulate matter is removed before it is injected into the internal combustion engines to produce power.

Veolia claims that by using the landfill gas to produce energy the project is displacing fossil fuels, the direct and avoided emission reductions of this 4.8 MW plant will be about 25,000 tons (22,700 tonnes) per year of carbon dioxide - equivalent of removing nearly 38,000 cars from the road according to the EPA.

Veolia will sell all of the power generated by the plant, along with the Renewable Energy Credits associated with the energy output, to Wisconsin Public Service (WPS).

Landfill gas qualifies as an eligible resource under Wisconsin's Renewable Portfolio Standard ( RPS), so the power produced at the Hickory Meadows will help WPS meet its RPS requirements, while helping the state achieve its goal of supplying 10% of its retail energy needs from renewable resources by 2015.

State, community and business leaders gathered at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project.


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