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Back You are here: Home Renewables Bioenergy Ethanol New landfill gas power plant completed in Michigan


New landfill gas power plant completed in Michigan

Around 12,000 homes in Michigan are going to be using renewable power derived from waste with the recent completion of the Pine Tree Acres Renewable Energy Facility in Lenox.

The newly completed energy plant from Waste Management is designed to generate 12.8 megawatts of electricity using landfill gas. It can use up to 4,800 cubic feet per minute of landfill gas to produce electricity.

Landfill gas is created when waste in landfills naturally decompose. The gas is composed mostly of methane and carbon dioxide and other air pollutants. The methane in landfill gas is considered a potent greenhouse gas.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that methane from landfills is the third-largest human-generated source of methane emissions in the United States, releasing an estimated 27.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in the atmosphere in 2009 alone.

Facilities such as Pine Tree Acres capture landfill gas and channel it into the creation of heat and energy, preventing it from reaching the atmosphere.

The agency estimates that a landfill gas energy project captures around 60 to 90 percent of methane emitted from landfills. It also generates additional income for the landfill projects from sale of the power generated and gas captured.

Waste Management, which provides waste management services in North America, has been operating gas-to-energy projects for two decades, owning or operating around 132 landfill gas projects in North America.

Waste Management already has an existing gas-to-energy plant at the site of the new facility with a generation capacity of around 8.8 MW. The two plants combined will generate 21.6 MW of electricity, enough for 19,500 homes.

Currently, the company creates enough energy from these projects to power over 1 million homes, and is looking to double that to 2 million homes by 2020. – EcoSeed Staff

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