STARKVILLE — A Mississippi regional landfill participating in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Generation Partners renewable power program has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of the nation’s top renewable generation projects.
The Golden Triangle Regional Solid Waste Management Authority is the recipient of a 2011 Project of the Year Award for its landfill gas-to-electricity project in northeast Mississippi. The project is one of three honored nationally by the EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program for excellence, innovation, and environmental and economic benefits in landfill gas generation.
The winners were recognized Jan. 18 at the EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Program’s annual conference in Baltimore, Md.
The Golden Triangle project began operating in October 2011. The facility annually prevents more than 30,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and generates one megawatt of reliable green energy, enough to power 600 homes. TVA buys the power from 4-County Electric Power Association’s distribution system under the Generation Partners pilot program, which supports production of renewable energy within the TVA service area.
“We congratulate the Authority and commend 4-County EPA for their excellent work and cooperation in bringing this project to fruition,” said David Sparks, who manages renewable power and energy efficiency programs for the TVA’s Mississippi District. “It is the largest TVA Generation Partners installation in Mississippi and a model of success for landfill gas-to-energy operations across the nation.”
Landfill gas is mostly methane, a potent greenhouse gas that can contribute to smog and cause odor problems. By capturing and using the landfill gas, the Golden Triangle facility reduces air pollution, minimizes safety risks such as explosions and taps into an otherwise wasted source of usable energy.
“Our landfill is now a community asset contributing to cleaner air and generating a local, less expensive fuel source,” said Jimmy Sloan, executive director for Golden Triangle Regional Solid Waste Management Authority. “We are proud to be part of TVA’s Generation Partners, and our project is a great success story for the Golden Triangle region and the entire state. It’s a real win/win for everyone.”
The Golden Triangle site is Mississippi’s first landfill gas-to-electricity project developed to support the regional electric grid, according to the EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Program database. The database counts more than 558 landfill gas-to-electricity projects throughout the United States that are producing a total of 1,727 megawatts of electricity.