landfillThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized eight landfill methane capture projects for innovations to reduce their emissions of methane – a potent greenhouse gas — and in the process recover renewable energy.

by Chris de Morsella, Green Economy Post

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized eight landfill methane capture projects for innovations to reduce their emissions of methane – a potent greenhouse gas — and in the process recover renewable energy. The Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) gives these awards to acknowledge excellence in innovation, successful project development that achieves both environmental and economic benefits.

This year’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) winning projects, including one of the largest landfill gas (LFG) to liquefied natural gas facilities in the world, located in Livermore, CA will avoid the emissions of 546,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the equivalent of annual GHG emissions from nearly 100,000 passenger vehicles.

Methane seepage from landfills is, in fact, a significant problem. The EPA estimates that municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are the second–largest source of human–related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 23 percent of these emissions in 2007. At the same time, methane seepage from landfills is a lost opportunity to capture and use what is a significant and as these projects demonstrate recoverable energy resource. These awards recognize projects that lead in this effort.

“We are proud to recognize Landfill Methane Outreach Program partners who are turning trash into a clean and profitable source of energy,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “These projects, and others like them, are helping us transition into a clean energy economy and make important greenhouse gas reductions.”

To read about a related methane capture technology read our post: Making the Case for On Farm Anaerobic Digesters

The EPA LMOP Awards for 2009

Awards were given in three categories: Projects of the Year, State Partner of the Year and Community Partner of the Year

Projects of the Year were given to:

University of New Hampshire EcoLineTM Project, Rochester, N.H. – A diverse team developed EcoLineTM, an integrated system that cleans and burns LFG in a cogeneration plant. The plant provides up to 85 percent of the five million square-foot campus’ electricity and heating needs.

Jefferson City, Missouri Renewable Energy Project, Jefferson City, MO – Project developer Ameresco changed the originally planned location of the 3.2-megawatt LFG electricity project to enable the capture of waste heat. The cogeneration project earned White House recognition for creating an estimated 80 jobs and expanding renewable energy for the nation.

Altamont Landfill Resource and Recovery Facility, Livermore, CA — Following nearly 10 years of research and development, a high-tech high Btu fuel plant converts LFG into liquefied natural gas (LNG) that will fuel 300 garbage trucks.

Ox Mountain LFG Energy Project, Half Moon Bay, CA — At 11.4 megawatts, one of the largest LFG electricity projects in the country helps two municipal utilities meet renewable energy goals and powers as many as 10,000 homes in the cities of Palo Alto and Alameda.

Sioux Falls Landfill & Poet LFG Pipeline, Sioux Falls, S.D. — The city captures, cleans, and pipes LFG for energy utilization at an ethanol plant, where LFG initially displaces about 10 percent of the plant’s natural gas consumption in a wood waste-fuel boiler.

Winder Renewable Methane Project, Winder, GA — In a high Btu project that produces enough gas to heat over 8,000 homes, a public/private partnership overcame barriers and applied innovative technologies that could lead to application at other high Btu projects.

The State Partner of the Year was given to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment — Through extensive outreach and networking, Kansas DHE and the Bureau of Waste Management successfully fueled interest in LFG utilization for energy in Kansas and beyond.

The Community Partner of the Year was awarded to the Kent County Department of Public Works, Byron Center, MI — Kent County demonstrated its strong desire to serve the community and implement a long-term LFG energy strategy when it was approached by Granger to generate electricity using LFG from the South Kent Landfill.

The Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) is a voluntary assistance program that helps to reduce methane emissions from landfills by encouraging the recovery and beneficial use of landfill gas (LFG) as an energy resource. LFG contains methane, a potent greenhouse gas that can be captured and used to fuel power plants, manufacturing facilities, vehicles, homes, and more. By joining LMOP, companies, state agencies, organizations, landfills, and communities gain access to a vast network of industry experts and practitioners, as well as to various technical and marketing resources that can help with LFG energy project development.

To date LMOP has assisted with more than 450 LFG energy projects over the past 15 years. The United States currently has about 509 operational LFG energy projects. The LFG electricity generation projects have a capacity of 1,563 megawatts (MW) and provide the energy equivalent of powering more than 920,000 homes annually.

LMOP provides services such as:

• Technical assistance, guidance materials, and software to assess a potential project’s economic feasibility.

• Assistance in creating partnerships and locating financing for projects.

• Informational materials to help educate the community and the local media about the benefits of LFG energy.

• Networking opportunities with peers and LFG energy experts to allow communities to share challenges and successes.

© 2010, Chris de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Chris de Morsella (146 Articles)

After a decade performing as a lead guitarist for rock bands, Chris de Morsella decided to return to the career his uncle mentored him in as a youth....Software Engineering. Since that time he has thrown himself into his work. He has designed a compound document publishing architecture for regulatory submissions capable of handling very large multi-document FDA regulatory drug approval submissions, for Liquent, a division of Thompson Publishing. At the Associated Press, Chris worked with senior editors at facilities around the world, to develop a solution for replacing existing editorial systems with an integrated international content management solution. He lead the design effort at Microsoft for a help system for mobile devices designed to provide contextual help for users. Chris also helped to develop the web assisted installer for LifeCam2.0, the software for Microsoft’s web cam and developed late breaking features for the product He also served with the Rhapsody client team to redesign and build a major new release of Real Networks Rhapsody client product. His most recent assignment has been Working with the Outlook Mobile Time Management team for the next release of Outlook Mobile for the SmartPhone. Chris' interests are in green building and architecture, smart grid, the cloud, geo-thermal energy, solar energy, smart growth, organic farming and permaculture. Follow Chris on Twitter.