Thursday, November 11, 2010

Turning Methane to Energy

From a Pepco release:

Pepco Energy Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM) and a leader in renewable energy projects, has been chosen by Howard County, Maryland, to implement a design/build construction contract at the Alpha Ridge Landfill, located near Baltimore.

The $3.9 million contract calls on Pepco Energy to design and build a new 1 MW landfill gas to energy generating plant at the Alpha Ridge Landfill on Marriottsville Road in Howard County, Maryland.

"Howard County continues to look for all possible options to save energy, money and the environment," said Evelyn Tomlin, Chief, Bureau of Environmental Services. "This Alpha Ridge Landfill gas to energy project is one of the most important green projects for Howard County."

Methane gas, which is currently burned in a flare at the landfill, will now be used as fuel for a reciprocating engine and generator to produce 1 MW of electric power. The completed project will export electric power to the local utility grid and provide power for electric vehicles used at the landfill.

"Pepco Energy is pleased to have been chosen to implement a comprehensive design/build construction contract for the Howard County Alpha Ridge Landfill," said John Huffman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pepco Energy. "The project demonstrates the county's commitment to optimizing its existing assets and to having a positive impact on the environment."

The plant will generate revenue for Howard County to help offset their landfill costs through the sale of the electricity produced. Additionally, as the plant runs full-time at full load, it will displace approximately 5,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year that would otherwise be produced from traditional fossil fuel power plants. Design and permitting are currently underway, and the plant is estimated to go into commercial operation by early 2012.

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