Virginia landfill turns gas into energy

By Ron Kotrba
Web exclusive posted Oct. 1, 2008 at 11:11 a.m. CST

A ceremonial ribbon was cut in mid-September in Stafford County, Va., for a new landfill gas-to-energy facility. Previously, the gas generated from the decomposition of trash was extracted and flared off.

Now the gas, which is approximately 50 percent methane, is routed to the new facility where two GE Jenbacher gen-sets burn the landfill gas and produce 2.14 megawatts of electricity � supplying enough to power more than 1,300 households.

"In addition to the significant environmental benefits, the [Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board] will receive revenue from the sale of the gas," said Paul Milde, chairman of the Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board. "This revenue will help supplement landfill operation costs."

The Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board signed a 20-year agreement with energy services provider Ameresco Inc., the company that developed the landfill gas-to-energy project.

The electricity is being purchased by Constellation Energy Group Inc.