Ameresco Completes 9.5 Mile Renewable Energy Project for BMW

Published Date: 
Tue, 06/24/2003

Ameresco LogoFramingham, MA - George Sakellaris, President and CEO of Framingham-based Ameresco today announced the completion of an environmentally friendly Energy Generation project for BMW Manufacturing Corp. A 9.5 mile pipeline designed, built, owned and operated by Ameresco, will carry recycled methane gas from the Palmetto Landfill to the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. By recycling methane gas, BMW is able to improve local air quality by lowering regional emissions of greenhouse gases (methane and carbon dioxide) that would otherwise contribute to local smog conditions.

“One of the largest of its kind, this project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to an amount generated by driving 105 million miles per year or more than 4,000 times around the earth.”, said Mike Bakas, Ameresco Vice President, who spearheaded the effort for Ameresco.

Built on an accelerated timeline, this project was completed with six months and providing clean energy by January, 2003. The energy provided by the Ameresco pipeline will supply the huge BMW plant with twenty-five percent of its energy and eighty percent of its thermal needs. This landfill pipeline project is the only such project in the world that co-generates electricity and hot water for use at an industrial location remote from a landfill.

The Palmetto Landfill is owned and operated by Waste Management, Inc. “Landfill gas represents an important source of renewable energy,” said Barry Caldwell, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Communications. “Our affiliation with BMW and Ameresco on this project is more evidence of how harnessing this resource for energy can help the environment and provide a valuable fuel.”

In a ceremony at the BMW site, Environmental Protection Agency Director Christine Todd Whitman said, “this is a win-win for everyone. It avoids the need to burn methane. It yields significant amounts of clean energy. And, by eliminating 55,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, it results in cleaner, healthier air for everyone to breathe,” said Whitman.

Ameresco President Sakellaris said, “we are very excited to support BMW in meeting its energy and environmental goals through this proven renewable energy approach. It means cleaner air, a healthier environment and a better community for all." Sakellaris was presented an award for outstanding achievement by Federal EPA Director, Whitman.

Ameresco is an employee-owned, independent company that specializes in developing and delivering innovative energy services resulting in a cleaner environment and reduced energy costs. The Ameresco team has overseen and participated in the design, development, implementation and management of successful energy projects that have saved customers over two billion dollars in energy costs over a twenty-year period. Project experience includes energy conservation activities with Fortune 500 aerospace and automotive manufacturers, public and private school systems, state and municipal governments, large universities, hospitals and government agencies.

Ameresco has a particular expertise in creating landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) projects. Utilizing methane gas produced by landfills, LFGTE is an increasingly popular way to generate clean power and offer communities a number of benefits such as job creation, a reduction in odor emissions, and an improved tax base. Ameresco is headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts with offices in California, Maine and New York.

Ameresco employs over 200 people.

Release Date: 6/24/2003