Landfill Gas-to-Energy: How It Works
In partnership with PPL Renewable Energy, LCSWMA developed a Landfill Gas (LFG) Plant that converts methane gas from its closed Creswell Landfill and active FFLF to generate renewable energy. The inactive Creswell Landfill that closed in the late 1980's contains a gas collection system with 53 wells placed throughout the site. The active FFLF contains a gas collection system with 45 wells throughout the site, with another 75 wells planned as the final cell cap is placed.
How It Works
Landfill gas is generated during the natural process of bacterial decomposition of organic material contained in landfills, and is composed of about 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide/water vapor. The gas is collected through a series of pipes. Major particulates and water are removed to create clean gas. The clean gas is piped to two Caterpillar 3520 engines contained inside sound attenuated enclosures where 3,200 kilowatts of power is generated. When the engines are down for any reason, gas is burned in an enclosed flare to assure destruction of the gas. Power generated by the two engines is transformed to a higher voltage and sent to the power grid through utility lines located near the plant. Steam is also produced as a by-product of the landfill gas combustion and is piped to a neighboring manufacturing facility, Turkey Hill Dairy, where it offsets more than 140,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually. The steam is used by Turkey Hill Dairy to power their commercial boilers for its manufacturing processes.
The environmental benefits of the LFG Plant are significant. By installing the LFG plant that equates to planting 48,000 acres of forest per year, removing 45,000 cars from the road, offsetting 800 railroad cars of coal, or 400,000 barrels of oil. The economic benefits are remarkable as well. The LFG Plant promotes local economic growth, lower energy costs and develops a domestic, renewable source of energy.