Biogas energy project opens at Pa. landfill

By PPL Renewable Energy | May 03, 2013

PPL Renewable Energy and the borough of Chambersburg has unveiled a new landfill gas-to-energy facility at IESI Blue Ridge Landfill, a Progressive Waste Solutions company.

The new 6.4 MW power generation system captures methane from decomposing trash and uses it to generate up to 50 million kilowatt-hours per year of electricity. That’s enough to power 4,000 homes.

“This is a great example of a public-private initiative that helps protect the environment while providing a long-term, renewable energy source for the borough of Chambersburg,” said Michael Kroboth, president of PPL Renewable Energy. “We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with the borough and Progressive Waste Solutions, and we appreciate their vision.”

PPL Renewable Energy and the borough worked together to build a 4-mile power line to connect the landfill energy project to the borough’s electric system. The electricity will be used to help meet the needs of the borough’s 11,200 electric customers.

“We were able to deliver this project on time and under budget. More importantly, energy from this renewable project will meet a significant portion of our customers’ overall energy needs moving forward. We could not have achieved such an important milestone without the support of State Sen. Richard Alloway, State Rep. Rob Kauffman and the Greene Township board of supervisors,” added Ronald Pezon, Chambersburg’s electric superintendent.

The new facility also benefits the environment by generating electricity from a renewable fuel that would have otherwise been flared off. By offsetting power from other sources, the project offers the potential to avoid the production of more than 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. That produces the same environmental benefit as taking 7,000 cars off the road, not consuming 4 million gallons of gasoline, or eliminating the import and consumption of 80,000 barrels of oil.

“We understand the importance of conserving natural resources,” said Sam Donato, manager of IESI Blue Ridge Landfill. “This project, like our comprehensive recycling efforts, underscores our commitment to responsible operations and continuous improvement.”