The Authority developed and operates a Landfill Gas to Energy project in keeping with its goal of financial and environmental sustainability, rather than in response to a regulatory requirement. The Authority collects, compresses, dehydrates and transports landfill gas (LFG) to a Styron (formerly Dow Chemical) facility boiler two miles from the landfill to offset the industry’s use of natural gas, a nonrenewable fossil fuel. Through this project, the Authority provides a reliable source of renewable energy to a local industry, minimizes greenhouse gas emissions, and provides a revenue source that will repay project development costs and fund operation and future expansion of the LFG to Energy system. No tax revenue was used to fund this $3.2 million project that was commissioned in 2008.
The project is currently delivering approximately 400 cubic feet per minute of LFG, or 106,000 million BTUs per year, typically offsetting 90 to 100% of Styron’s use of natural gas. This not only replaces a non-renewable energy source with a renewable one, but it improves air quality.
The project results in an estimated reduction of 47,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, equivalent to any one of the following annual benefits:
- Offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions from almost 9,108 passenger vehicles;
- The amount of carbon sequestered by about 10,157 acres of pine or fir forests;
- Offsetting the emissions of 110,781 barrels of oil used; and
- Offsetting the emissions of almost 5.4 million gallons of gasoline consumed.
Over the 15 year life of the contract, the project is anticipated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of almost 714,000 metric tons, equal to any one of the following annual benefits:
- Offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions from 136,620 passenger vehicles;
- The amount of carbon sequestered by about 152,355 acres of pine or fir forests;
- Offsetting the emissions of over 1.66 million barrels of oil; and
- Offsetting the emissions of about 81 million gallons of gasoline consumed.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the project results in economic benefits. The contract ties the value of LFG to the NYMEX – Henry Hub price for natural gas, thereby reflecting the market value of energy over time. In addition the project is registered with the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) where it receives financial benefits for its share of carbon credits generated by the project.