Officials mark startup of first gas-to-electricity project

STARKVILLE — With Mississippi looking to produce more domestic energy from renewable resources, government officials, utility and GE representatives gathered yesterday at the Golden Triangle Regional Landfill in northeastern Mississippi to mark the commercial start-up of the state’s first landfill gas-to-electricity (LFGTE) project that will support the regional grid.

Owned by the Golden Triangle Regional Solid Waste Management Authority (GTRSWMA), the LFGTE facility uses an ecomagination-qualified, GE J320 Jenbacher landfill gas engine to generate nearly 1 megawatt (MW) of renewable power sold through Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) renewable power initiative — enough to support about 700 average U.S. homes. The engine generates this power by using methane gas from solid waste decomposition, which would have otherwise been wasted by being released into the atmosphere as a pollutant and potent greenhouse gas, as a valuable renewable fuel.

“We are excited to serve as a model for the development of innovative landfill gas-to-electricity projects to help Mississippi diversify its energy resources and improve the environment,” said Jimmy Sloan, executive director for GTRSWMA. “Our project also will provide an important new revenue stream that we will use to help keep our landfill fees as low as possible for area residents and businesses in these challenging economic times.”

The TVA is purchasing the power from the 4-County Electric Power Association distribution system under the auspices of the TVA‘s Generation Partners program, which supports the production of renewable energy within the utility’s coverage area. The energy and associated positive environmental benefits are purchased through the program, which then transfers the right to claim the renewable attributes to Green Power Switch customers.

The Golden Triangle site is the state of Mississippi’s first LFGTE project developed to support the regional grid, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) database.

“Golden Triangle is taking a leading role in showing how municipalities can capture a landfill’s waste gas that would have created more environmental impact and instead recycle it into valuable fuel for renewable energy,” said Roger George, North American regional sales leader-gas engines for GE Energy. “This not only results in a cleaner environment but also offers clear economic benefits for surrounding communities.”

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