Turning trash to treasure isn't just for folks diving into the landfill; sometimes it's what's under the dirt that holds the best potential.
The City of Akron announcing a deal with a Columbus-based gas recovery company to pull gas generated by the trash buried at the Hardy Road Landfill to help generate electricity to support the City's massive sewer treatment plant across the street.
The City says ground on the project will be broken later this year.
City of Akron - news release
Hull & Associates, Inc., of Columbus, Ohio (Hull), and the City of Akron have entered into an agreement to recover landfill gas from the former Hardy Road Landfill and utilize the gas to produce electricity for the adjacent city-owned wastewater treatment plant.
The project is designed to produce approximately 7,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually for the wastewater treatment plant, or enough to power about 600-700 homes. The electricity generated from the landfill gas will be able to supply about 30% of the wastewater plant annual electric requirements.
"With this project, and the recently announced expansion of the anaerobic digestion system (ADS) that will process all of the biosolids from the wastewater plant, nearly 90% of the electricity required to operate the wastewater plant will be generated on-site," said Mayor Don Plusquellic.
Municipal solid waste landfills are the largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States. At the same time, methane emissions from landfills represent a lost opportunity to capture and use a significant energy resource. Landfill gas (LFG) is created as solid waste decomposes in a landfill. This gas consists of about 50 percent methane (CH4), the primary component of natural gas. Instead of allowing LFG to escape into the air, it can be captured, converted, and used as an energy source. Using LFG helps to reduce odors and other hazards associated with LFG emissions, and it helps prevent methane from migrating into the atmosphere and contributing to local smog and global climate change. The City of Akron’s Hardy Road Landfill was closed in 2002 and produces approximately 17,500 scfh of landfill gas, which is currently being burned off and not used.
"By recovering the landfill gas and using it to produce green electricity and building heat, the project will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve natural resources for future generations," said Rick Merolla, Akron’s Public Service Director.
The acquisition and installation of the new 850 kilowatt electrical generation and distribution equipment will be performed entirely by Hull at their cost. Hull will then sell the electricity generated by the project back to the City of Akron at a rate that is less than what the City of Akron is now paying for electricity. The City of Akron will also have the rights to use any excess landfill gas, along with potentially using the waste heat from the generator to heat buildings at the wastewater plant.
Hull & Associates, Inc. is an Ohio project development and engineering firm with 30 years of experience that specializes in providing technical engineering services to landfill operators and also designs, builds, finances and operates renewable energy projects throughout the Midwest. Hull has been named as one of the Best Employers in Ohio and recognized as one of the top 500 Design firms in the US, along with receiving numerous awards.
Hull plans to break ground on the project some time during the 4th quarter of 2011 and have all the equipment installed and in operation by August of 2012.