Environmental Quality

Goal 6: Optimize the efficient use of all energy by both public and private users
Source: Public Works and Utilities Department     EQ Goal6     7/9/2013
About this measure:
Landfill gas is being extracted from wells installed in approximately 55 acres of the Bluff Road Landfill that have reached design capacity. There are approximately 50 acres of uncapped areas of the landfill where gas extraction is not currently occurring. The energy value of the landfill gas is reflected as MMBtu’s (one million Btu’s) per year.
Why this is important:
Landfill gas is comprised of approximately 50% methane, 45% carbon dioxide and 5% other gases such as nitrogen and oxygen. Methane produced from waste decomposition can be used to produce electrical energy, thereby reducing the consumption of fossil fuels for the production of electricity. The destruction of methane and carbon dioxide through combustion – in engines and flares - also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is one of six greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change and is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
What is being done:
The installation of the landfill gas collection system at the Bluff Road Landfill was complete in September 2011. Lincoln Electric System will begin producing electricity in September 2013 by combusting the methane component of the landfill gas in reciprocating engines. The engines are expected to produce approximately 3.2 MW of electrical energy, or enough electrical energy to meet the annual electrical demands of approximately 2,250 households. The landfill gas collection (wells) system will be expanded, possibly into uncapped areas of the landfill, when required by regulation or when operationally feasible and at cost effective increments to maximize the recovery of methane and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.