Hilbert, WI. — Veolia Energy North America, a leading operator and developer of sustainable energy systems, announced its first landfill gas-to-energy project (LFGTE) in the United States at the Veolia Environmental Services North America Hickory Meadows landfill, located in eastern Wisconsin. The project, slated to commence operation in early summer 2011, will have the initial capacity to generate 42,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per year, enough to power 2,800 homes.
Once complete, the 4.8-megawatt (MW) electrical generation facility will include three landfill reciprocating engine generator sets with a capacity of 1.6 MW each, fueled exclusively by the landfill gas. Landfill gas, which is normally burned off, will be captured and sent via the landfill’s existing gas collection system to the facility, where it will be transformed into electricity.
“We are delighted to begin construction of our first renewable energy facility in North America,” said Stewart A. Wood, President and CEO of Veolia Energy North America. “Veolia Energy is committed to maximizing environmental sustainability through a reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels and the introduction of renewable resources into the energy mix, and I am pleased that this project will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the people of Wisconsin.”
Veolia Energy has entered into a power purchase agreement with Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), the primary electricity and gas provider for northeastern Wisconsin residents. Upon completion, WPS will purchase all of the power generated by the plant, along with the Renewable Energy Credits associated with the energy output.
As part of the 2005 Wisconsin Act 141, Wisconsin established a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), requiring utilities to meet a gradually increasing percentage of retail sales with qualified renewable sources with the goal of providing 10% of the state’s retail energy needs from renewable resources by 2015. In addition to its environmental benefits, landfill gas qualifies as an eligible resource under Wisconsin’s RPS. The Hickory Meadow landfill gas-to-energy project will help WPS meet its RPS requirements.
“Landfill projects offer a higher level of dispatch reliability compared to wind generation projects,” said Rob Benninghoff, Director of Renewable and Special Projects at WPS. “As wind projects make up an increasing percentage of the energy mix in the market, landfill gas-to-energy projects can play a role by providing a higher level of dispatch certainty as a counterbalance, and WPS is happy to be part of Veolia Energy’s first landfill energy project of this type.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its emission reductions and environmental benefits calculator, a 4.8 MW landfill gas-to-energy plant such as this could be expected to achieve carbon dioxide emission reductions of over 25,000 tons per year, or the equivalent of removing 37,550 automobiles from the road each year.
Around the world, Veolia Energy manages more than 2,400 MW of alternative and renewable energy facilities. As a result of Veolia Energy’s efforts to optimize energy and utilize renewable resources across the globe, the company reduced worldwide greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 by 6.6 million tons.
About Veolia Energy North America
Based in Boston, MA, Veolia Energy North America is a leading operator and developer of sustainable energy systems. The company is part of the Veolia Environnement companies in North America, with more than 28,000 North American employees providing sustainable environmental solutions in water management, waste services, energy management, and passenger transportation.
Veolia Energy’s parent company, Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE and Paris Euronext: VIE), is the global standard for environmental services. With approximately 313,000 employees in 74 countries, Veolia Environnement recorded annual revenues of nearly $50 billion in 2009. Visit the company’s Web sites at www.veolianorthamerica.com and www.veoliaenergyna.com.