Date: March 30, 2010
Source: Georgia Power
Georgia Power Partners With Waste Management on one of the Largest Renewable Energy Facilities In Georgia
Georgia Power recently signed a long-term contract with Waste Management (NYSE: WM) that will produce electricity from landfill gas. This contract will take effect after Georgia Public Service Commission approval.
Georgia Power and Waste Management Renewable Energy LLC entered into a 10-year deal for electricity that will be generated from everyday household trash. The power will come from Waste Management's new energy-generating facility at its Superior Landfill and Recycling Center in Savannah, Ga.
According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, the facility developed by Waste Management is among the largest in Georgia and the Southeast. The methane gas used to make electricity comes from natural decomposition of the garbage disposed at the landfill.
The agreement will provide Georgia Power with 100 percent of the renewable energy annually from Waste Management's 6.4 megawatt facility in Savannah, Georgia, as well as the associated renewable energy credits. One megawatt is enough energy to supply a Super Target store or approximately 250 Georgia residences.
Georgia Power selected Waste Management from a number of independent renewable generators who submitted bids through the company's green request for proposals issued in April 2009. The energy from Superior Landfill will be used to help grow Georgia Power's Green Energy program.
"By tapping into the landfill gas to produce electricity, Georgia Power is both continuing to diversify its expanding renewable portfolio throughout the state, and doing what's good for the environment," said Jeff Burleson, director of Resource Policy and Planning.
"Landfill gas is a clean energy resource that has been endorsed by the U.S. EPA as an environmentally wise alternative that reduces our reliance on fossil fuels," said Paul Pabor, vice president of Renewable Energy for Waste Management. "Over the years, Waste Management has worked closely with businesses, industries and public utilities to develop many beneficial-use projects and we currently have over 115 projects across North America, including three other sites in Georgia."
Landfill gas is produced when microorganisms break down organic material in the landfill. The resulting gas is comprised of approximately 50-60 percent methane. Waste Management collects methane and uses it to fuel on-site engines or turbines, generating electricity to power surrounding homes and neighborhoods.
Waste Management tailors its services to meet the needs of each customer group and to ensure consistent, superior service at the local level. Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Its subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy and waste-to-energy facilities in the United States. With nearly 800 employees in Georgia, the company serves residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers throughout North America.
Georgia Power is working to increase its renewable energy portfolio both through the purchase of energy from renewable generators and through investments in self-owned renewable generation. Additionally, Georgia Power will invest $43 million annually in 18 different demand response and energy-efficiency programs. These programs are expected to reduce electricity demand by 900 MW by 2013, or enough electricity to power 225,000 homes using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.