Kentucky funds landfill gas-to-energy project

By Gov. Steve Beshear's office | April 16, 2014

Kentucky Gov. Beshear has announced funding to help create an environmentally-friendly methane gas recovery system in the city of Glasgow, Ky., that will also save taxpayer dollars. The new system will harness the gas emitted from the Glasgow Regional Landfill and turn it into electricity.

“This effort is the ultimate recycling project—using science and innovation to literally turn trash in to energy,” said Gov. Beshear. “Thanks to the vision and creativity of both the public and private partners in this project, the city of Glasgow will have a renewable energy source, save local tax dollars and reduce their carbon footprint on the planet.”

The city of Glasgow has worked with Farmers Rural Electric and East Kentucky Power over the past two years to design and implement Glasgow’s Methane Gas to Energy Project.

The project consists of constructing a new system at the Glasgow Regional Landfill that will capture methane gas from deteriorating refuse and turn that gas into viable electricity for public and private consumption. The system is projected to generate 7.5 million kilowatt-hours each year.

Funding for the energy project includes a $100,000 grant from the Kentucky Energy Efficiency and Conservation for Local Governments program and $212,000 from the city of Glasgow. In addition, FRECC helped the city secure a $1 million no-interest loan from the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program to assist with the construction of the new methane recovery system.

The Glasgow Regional Landfill will lease space to East Kentucky Power to construct a facility to house their generator. Once the new system is operational, the gas will be sold to East Kentucky Power for conversion to electricity, putting the energy onto the local FRECC power grid.

Proceeds from the sale of the methane to East Kentucky Power will pay back the U.S. Agriculture loan and, ultimately, the project will create positive cash flow for the city and the landfill operation.

The new methane gas recovery system will also provide emergency backup service to the city-owned wastewater treatment plant. The city’s cost-savings to avoid buying a new generator for the plant is $400,000.

“Today we saw a glimpse into the future of recyclable energy,” said state Sen. David Givens. “My compliments to the City of Glasgow, Farmers RECC, East KY Power and the USDA on making this future become a reality. I’m proud that our state is playing a role in this endeavor. Also, I’m proud that state government is playing a role in this endeavor.”

“This project has a tremendous amount of potential, both for the energy it will provide and the income it will generate,” said state Rep. Johnny Bell. “I want to thank Governor Beshear for being here and for the funding his administration is providing. Our local leaders deserve a lot of credit for their foresight in turning this idea into reality. I’m proud to take part.”

The EEC is administered by DLG and builds on the work begun with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, funding that is supported by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet through a court ordered environmental mitigation settlement.