Landfill gas plant will make Ill. county $1 million annually

By Anna Austin | December 21, 2011

Waste Management and officials from Will County have commissioned a landfill gas-to-energy plant at the Prairie View Recycling and Disposal Facility outside of Wilmington in northeastern Illinois.

The plant, plans for which were announced in May of 2009, is now sending electricity to the grid. It is equipped with three 20-cylinder, 2,233-horsepower Caterpillar engines that produce 4.8 MW, and a fourth engine will be added next year. Plans are on the table to continue to increase the plant’s power output in the coming years.

Anastasia Tuskey, communications director of the Will County Executive office, said the project is a great example of successful partnership between public and private entities. “It’s going to benefit all of the county’s residents,” she said.

Specifically, that benefit will be avoiding potential future taxes. Will County executive Larry Walsh said the new revenue created from the sale of electricity will pay for important infrastructure projects in the future, without cost to property taxpayers.

The county expects to see more than $1 million in revenue from the plant, and even more when it begins expanding.

The electricity generated at the landfill will be enough to power about 4,000 area homes, according to Walsh.

The U.S. Department of Energy supported the project by providing at $3.1 million grant. Waste Management, which owns the plant, contributed $6 million to the project’s development. The company has more than 100 landfill gas-to-energy plants across North America.