First U.S. Commercial Scale Methane Gas-to-Electricity Production On Schedule.

14 Oct 2011

Methane gas is captured at a landfill. Photo credit: meaduva@Flickr

Back in January, I blogged about the approval of an agreement between DTE and Blue Water Renewables (a DTE affiliate) to purchase electricity from a generator at the Smiths Creek Landfill in St. Clair County.  The generator will produce electricity from the methane gas extracted from the landfill (which is currently just burned off).   According to Wednesday’s MLive article, the construction of the gas-to-energy generator at the landfill has been ongoing since July and is expected to be up and running by mid-November.

With the generator, the landfill’s gas will be used to produce 3.2 megawatts of electricity per hour (enough to power between 2,000 and 3,000 homes).  Blue Water Renewables will then sell the energy produced at the landfill to DTE.

The landfill’s ability to produce and sell electricity generated from methane gas on a commercial scale is a breakthrough and is estimated to provide the county with at least $400,000 a year in royalties.  Revenue from an otherwise wasted byproduct (and it’s renewable and great for the environment) — I’m sure other landfills will follow suit.

Leave a Comment to “First U.S. Commercial Scale Methane Gas-to-Electricity Production On Schedule.”

  1. Ray Underwood 01. Nov, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    What about Riverviews attempt to use methane gas from their Mt. Rushmore in the 80s. Not the first. Old news.

  2. Arthur Siegal 02. Nov, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Ray – you’re right. There are a number of old landfills that collect methane and have been using that to generate electricity. Mt. Trashmore is just one good example. But the difference here seems to be one of scale. From the available reports it appears that this new system will generate about 10 times as much electricity as the old Mt. Trashmore system. That’s what’s meant by “commerical scale”

  3. power cord 30. Nov, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    I again : What about Riverviews attempt to use methane gas from their Mt. Rushmore in the 80s. Not the first. Old news.

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