WM Opens New Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant in Illinois

Date: December 9, 2011

Source: News Room

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) has fired up a new landfill gas-to-energy plant at its Prairie View Landfill in Wilmington, IL which it operates for Will County. Three 20-cylinder 2,233-horsepower Caterpillar engines will produce enough electricity to power 1,000 homes which will be sold to ComEd, a division of Exelon. That will generate an estimated $440,000 per year in revenue to the county. Illinois utilities are expected to derive 25 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025. Methane production is expected to rise over time at the 3,500 ton-per-day landfill since it only began operating in 2004 and has yet to hit its stride.

The $9 million methane gas-to-energy plant is a partnership between the county and Waste Management. The county contributed $3.1 million from a federal stimulus grant to construct the plants and connect to the ComEd power grid.

While the plant was completed this summer, numerous delays kept it from going online until December. The delay was due in part to ComEd crews being called to other states to assist with downed power lines related to Hurricane Irene and a November snowstorm in the Northeast, said Alicia Zatkowski, a ComEd spokeswoman.

Crews installed 3.5 miles of high-voltage line and 97 new poles, and the job entailed electrical work at three substations.

Initially, the nearly 7,000-square-foot plant will generate 4.8 megawatts of power. County officials say they plan to increase power output in the coming years. A fourth engine will be added later this year.

Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin