Date: April 18, 2008
Source: Waste Management, Inc.
Waste Management Opens Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility at Hampton's Bethel Landfill
Energy Produced by LFGTE Plant Capable of Powering More Than 4,700 Homes
Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WMI) today officially opened its latest waste-based renewable energy facility at the company's Bethel Landfill. The "green" energy produced from the landfill gas will provide power for the service area of the landfill and beyond through the electrical transmission grid.
The landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) facility at the Bethel Landfill will produce 4.8 megawatts of green electricity, which will produce enough energy to power more than 4,700 homes. The plant is the first such facility in Virginia for Waste Management as a solo venture. In the Commonwealth, the company has plans to construct two more landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) plants - at their landfill in King George County and the Middle Peninsula Landfill in Gloucester County - together they will generate an additional 19.2 megawatts of green electricity, enough to power more than 20,000 homes.
"Waste Management's gas-to-energy project at its Bethel Landfill is an example of how we can develop and utilize alternative means to lessen our dependence on foreign oil as well as reduce our greenhouse gas emissions," said Virginia's Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant, Jr. "Waste Management has set an example others should follow."
The Bethel Landfill LFGTE plant is part of Waste Management's national initiative to build 60 new renewable energy facilities over the next five years, and is part of the company's environmental sustainability initiative to increase its waste-based energy production. Today, Waste Management creates enough energy for the equivalent of 1 million homes each year. By 2020, it expects to double that output, producing enough energy for the equivalent of more than 2 million homes.
"Converting our landfill gas into green power is just another example of Waste Management's commitment to sustainability and the environment," indicated Greg Enterline, Senior District Manager for Waste Management. "Turning a waste product into a long-term, reliable source of renewable energy saves natural resources and is a major environmental plus for the Hampton Roads community."
The power plant, located on the northwest of the landfill property, is equipped with six large engine/generators. Each of the Caterpillar units generates 1,148 horsepower. Each weighs approximately 26,500 pounds and stands 7 feet in height, 7.5 feet in width, and 16 feet in length.
The plant captures the landfill gas, primarily methane, through a network of pipes and wells drilled into the landfill. A vacuum system draws the gas from the landfill and conveys it to the power plant where it fuels the engines driving the generators to produce electricity. The landfill gas recovery system includes more than 50 vertical gas extraction wells. Previously, the landfill gas was safely burned at a central flare.
The landfill will produce gas for the power plant for the next several decades and continue even after the landfill no longer accepts waste.
A pioneer in LFGTE projects, Waste Management designed and operated its first facility in the United States more than 20 years ago. With 277 landfills, Waste Management is the country's largest landfill operator and is in a unique position to expand waste-based renewable power generation across the country. The company is also exploring partnerships to expand its landfill gas-to-energy technology to other private and municipal landfills.
About Waste Management
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. More information about how Waste Management Thinks Green(R) can be found at www.wm.com.
SOURCE Waste Management, Inc.