Thursday, October 13, 2011

GE Enables Mississippi’s First Landfill Gas-to-Electricity Project to Support Region’s Grid

 

  • Golden Triangle Regional Landfill Project Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Creates New Revenue Source to Help Lower Landfill Costs for Businesses, Residents
  • GE’s Jenbacher Gas Engines Enable Landfill Operators, Utilities and Others to Produce Cleaner, More Reliable Power
  • Milestone Landfill Gas Project Highlights Public-Private Partnership Efforts to Tackle the Country’s Third-Largest Human Source of Methane Emissions

STARKVILLE, Miss.--  With Mississippi looking to produce more domestic energy from renewable resources, government officials, utility and GE (NYSE: GE) representatives gathered today at the Golden Triangle Regional Landfill in northeastern Mississippi to mark the commercial start-up of the state’s first landfill gas-to-electricity (LFGTE) project that will support the regional grid.

Owned by the Golden Triangle Regional Solid Waste Management Authority (GTRSWMA), the LFGTE facility uses an ecomagination-qualified, GE J320 Jenbacher landfill gas engine (http://ge-j920gasengine.com/) to generate nearly 1 megawatt (MW) of renewable power sold through Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) renewable power initiative—enough to support about 700 average U.S. homes. The engine generates this power by using methane gas from solid waste decomposition, which would have otherwise been wasted by being released into the atmosphere as a pollutant and potent greenhouse gas, as a valuable renewable fuel. Methane has a global warming factor 21 times greater than carbon dioxide, the most widely recognized greenhouse gas affecting climate change.

In September, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour toured the Golden Triangle facility and praised the project for supporting the state’s energy and economic priorities.

"Mississippi’s energy policy is simple: produce more affordable, abundant American energy," Gov. Barbour said. "This project at the Golden Triangle Regional Landfill fits in well with our state's strategy to have diverse energy resources to support our long-term economic growth."

Officials attending Tuesday’s opening of the landfill gas power plant echoed the governor’s comments.

“We are excited to serve as a model for the development of innovative landfill gas-to-electricity projects to help Mississippi diversify its energy resources and improve the environment,” said Jimmy Sloan, executive director for GTRSWMA. “Our project also will provide an important new revenue stream that we will use to help keep our landfill fees as low as possible for area residents and businesses in these challenging economic times,” Sloan added.

The TVA is purchasing the power from the 4-County Electric Power Association distribution system under the auspices of the TVA‘s Generation Partners program, which supports the production of renewable energy within the utility’s coverage area. The energy and associated positive environmental benefits are purchased through the program, which then transfers the right to claim the renewable attributes to Green Power Switch® customers.

The Golden Triangle site is the state of Mississippi’s first LFGTE project developed to support the regional grid, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) database. According to LMOP, there are more than 558 LFTGE projects throughout the United States that are producing a total of 1,727 MW.

These numbers are compelling, given that landfills are the third-largest, human-generated source of methane emissions in the United States, releasing an estimated 27.5 million metric tons of carbon equivalent to the atmosphere in 2009 alone.

Developing more projects like the one at Golden Triangle Landfill will be crucial as the country works to produce cleaner energy and reduce industrial sources of environmental impact. One J320 landfill gas engine is designed to generate almost 8,000 MWh of electricity per year, which would require more than 2 million cubic meters of natural gas for generation in an average U.S. natural gas-fired power plant.

“Golden Triangle is taking a leading role in showing how municipalities can capture a landfill’s waste gas that would have created more environmental impact and instead recycle it into valuable fuel for renewable energy,” said Roger George, North American regional sales leader—Gas Engines for GE Energy. “This not only results in a cleaner environment but also offers clear economic benefits for surrounding communities.”

George noted that while most of the landfills in the northeastern and western United States are developed, a significant amount of waste continues to be transported from high-population areas to rural regions, making the southeastern United States the fastest growing region for new LFGTE projects.

In addition to supplying the Jenbacher gas engine, GE also brought the TVA’s Generation Partners renewable energy purchase program to the attention of the GTRSWMA’s landfill board. Nixon Energy Solutions, GE’s Jenbacher gas engine authorized distributor in Mississippi, delivered the unit to the site before it was installed by SCS Field Services.

GE’s alternative gas-to-power portfolio includes Jenbacher and Waukesha gas engines and is specifically designed for fuel flexibility needed to accommodate the use of alternative fuels such as landfill gas, while offering high levels of electrical efficiency. GE’s Jenbacher landfill gas engines are qualified under ecomagination, GE’s commitment to invest in a future that creates innovative solutions to global environmental challenges. Overall, the Gas Engines business has more than 1,650 units operating on landfill, with an electrical output of over 1,650 MW.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.

GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Management and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 100,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.

Contacts

GE Gas EnginesAnja Pegger, +43 5244 600 2337 anja.pegger@ge.com or

Masto Public Relations Gina DeRossi or

Howard Masto +1 518-786-6488 gina.derossi@mastopr.com howard.masto@ge.com


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