Landfill Methane Outreach Program updates data, announces awards

By Katie Fletcher | April 07, 2015

Last month, U.S. EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program released updated data, and recognized LMOP partners for landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE) achievements. As of March, 645 unique projects were reported, and 440 candidate landfills were identified.

The partners accepting 2014 projects of the year include Innovative Energy Systems for its Seneca Energy II renewable natural gas (RNG) facility in Waterloo, New York, and Energy Developments Inc. for its landfill gas (LFG) to electric plant in Collinsville, Alabama. The 2014 community partner of the year award was given to a collaboration on a LFGTE project in Hancock County near Findlay, Ohio, with LMOP partner Granger Energy Services.

The updated data LMOP released in March includes information for both operational projects and candidate landfills. Operational LFG projects take into account heating greenhouses, producing electricity and heat in cogeneration applications, firing brick kilns, supplying high–Btu pipeline–quality gas, fueling garbage trucks, and providing fuel to chemical and vehicle manufacturing. Projects range from small–scale, community–driven initiatives to multi–million–dollar private investments. The 645 unique projects reported came from a count of 595 unique landfills.

LMOP’s count of 440 candidate landfills was compiled through the development of various analyses, profiling specific landfill sites for what the program considers suitable for the development of LFGTE projects. These analyses include project expo landfill presentations, gas generation and recovery estimates, and feasibility assessments conducted to evaluate the LFG generation and recovery potential at specific landfills, potential end uses, and the approximate costs of using the gas for energy.

A candidate landfill is defined by LMOP as one that is accepting waste or has been closed for five years or less, has at least 1 million tons of waste, and does not have an operational, under-construction or planned project. Actual interest in the site can also designate a candidate landfill. The information contained in the LMOP database, for both candidate landfills and operational LFGTE projects, is compiled from a variety of sources, including annual voluntary submissions by LMOP partners and industry publications.

LMOP added information to the data files of its national and state lists of landfills and energy projects. Amongst over 30 fields of information, the data files now provide Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program identification numbers that correspond to the seven-digit Facility Identifier assigned to facilities required to report under the GHGRP program.

Besides providing updated projects and candidate landfill data files, LMOP has been recognizing partners for achievements on LFGTE projects since 2005. On March 19, two 2014 projects of the year awards and one 2014 community partner of the year award were distributed to LMOP partners. The RNG project in Waterloo developed by Innovative Energy Systems—now operating as Aria Energy—involves processing approximately 3,000 cubic feet per minute of LFG from the Seneca Meadows Landfill into RNG. The gas moves through an existing natural gas pipeline to be used to make electricity, used in fuel cells to produce electricity for onsite use, or compressed for use in natural gas vehicles. Along with this RNG facility, an existing LFGTE project is producing 17.6 MW of power using 18 Caterpillar reciprocating engines.

A LFG to electric plant in Alabama received the second project of the year award. The Sand Valley project generates 4.8 MW of power using three Caterpillar reciprocating engines—enough power for approximately 3,000 homes in DeKalb County. The project is located in a remote area, and required the installation of a 9-mile feeder line to connect the project to the nearest substation.

One last award distributed by LMOP for 2014 was focused on how projects and companies contribute to job creation and provide green energy for the communities they serve. The awarded LFGTE project in Hancock County, Ohio, is a collaboration between the county, Granger Energy Services, Buckeye Power and Hancock Woods Cooperative. The county owns and operates the Hancock County Sanitary Landfill where a 3.2 MW LFGTE project was brought online to help the county find a beneficial use for LFG, improve local air quality, reduce GHG emissions, and demonstrate the importance of public-private partnerships to improve public health and the environment.