N.J. bill would benefit landfill gas-to-energy projects

By Erin Voegele | July 02, 2014

A bill recently introduced in the New Jersey legislature aims to establish a Class I renewable energy certificate multiplier program for landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the state. The program would allow these facilities to offset economic losses experienced by landfills due to certain costs resulting from engine damage. The bill, S. 2076, was introduced by state Sen. Bob Smith in May. On June 16, the measure was passed by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. An identical bill, A. 3358, was introduced in the New Jersey Assembly on June 9.  

According to the text of the legislation, many landfill gas-to-energy facilities in New Jersey have experienced unanticipated and continuing maintenance costs due to engine damage caused by siloxane compounds. The legislation explains that these compounds develop in landfills from common, silicon-based consumer products, including hairspray and other aerosols. As a result of costs incurred due to these compound, the legislation states that the future economic viability of landfill gas-to-energy facilities is uncertain. The text of the legislation also points out that the state’s energy plan supports the production of energy from landfill gas and that it is in the interest of the state to support the continued operation of these projects in order to eliminate the negative greenhouse gas impacts of methane entering the atmosphere.

Under the program established by the legislation, Class I renewable energy certificates could be issued to a facility that demonstrates an economic loss in the previous year due to this type of engine damage. The Board of Public Utilities would issue a certificates to eligible facilities equal to the quotient of the facility’s loss in the previous year divided by the current market price for a Class I renewable energy certificate, multiplied by the number of Class I renewable energy certificates generated by the facility in the previous year. Fines, penalties and costs due to non-compliance with emissions requirements would not be considered an eligible economic loss.

A full copy of the legislation is available on the New Jersey legislature website.