Virginia Landfill To Make Clean Energy From Landfill Gas
Stafford, VA – The Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board (R-Board) is finding a new source of power in an unexpected place – the local landfill. The R-Board has signed a 20-year agreement with Ameresco to convert the landfill gas generated from decomposing waste into a renewable energy source.
This public/private partnership will successfully utilize a resource that would have otherwise been wasted, and in the process, produce benefits for the landfill, the environment, and the local community. Landfill gas is about 50 percent methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and low level ozone, or smog. By capturing and using the landfill gas, the R-Board and Ameresco will reduce pollution, and improve global and local air quality.
“Our landfill is now a community resource contributing to cleaner air and generating a local, less expensive fuel source,” said Deputy County Administrator, Anthony Romanello. “This project is a win win situation for everyone,”
The project will generate 2.14 MWs of power, enough energy to power the equivalent of 1,500 homes. The project will be constructed by Ameresco over the next year.
“Ameresco is proud to be a part of such a forward looking project, especially one that has such tremendous community benefits,” said Michael T. Bakas, Ameresco’s Vice President for Renewable Energy. “We applaud the R-Board and their community partners for their commitment to cleaner air and renewable energy.”
The 18,500 square-foot generation facility will be located at the landfill, and will initially house two electric generators specifically designed to combust landfill gas. It is anticipated that construction of the plant will begin in February 2007, and the project will be operational by December 2007. Constellation NewEnergy has signed a long term power purchase agreement with Ameresco for the purchase of the output from the project.
Stafford Supervisor Peter J. Fields, R-Board Chair, said, “In addition to the numerous environmental benefits, the R-Board will receive revenue from the sale of the gas. This revenue will help supplement landfill operation costs and reduce taxpayer burden.”
It is expected that the R-Board will receive $1.6 million over the term of the contract. Both Ameresco and the R-Board are partners in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Landfill Methane Outreach program, a voluntary program that promotes the use of landfill gas as a renewable energy source. The EPA will provide the project partners with support and recognition of their efforts to protect the environment throughout the project process.
The R-Board is a joint venture of the governments of Stafford and Fredericksburg. The R-Board operates and maintains the regional landfill and recycling drop-off facilities for the use and benefit of the citizens of Stafford and Fredericksburg.
Ameresco, Inc. is North America’s largest and fastest growing independently held energy services company. With headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, the company is a single-source provider of comprehensive energy solutions. Ameresco is committed to developing renewable and sustainable energy generation worldwide. Please visit its website at www.ameresco.com.