Mas Energy develops U.S.’s first-ever trigeneration landfill-gas-to-energy system
EPA names system offtaker to list of largest on-site green-power
Ga. (August 2, 2012) -- Mas Energy,
an international renewable energy systems developer, has developed
the first-ever trigeneration landfill-gas-to-energy system in the
United States. The 6.5-megawatt system--which began operations
earlier this year--supplies electricity, steam, and chilled water
to an Atlanta-based beverage processing facility. The system
provides most of the beverage-production plant's energy needs,
offsetting the use of fossil fuels.
The offtaker, a leading international beverage manufacturer,
engaged Mas Energy to develop the project as part of its global
carbon-reduction strategy. The trigeneration facility was a major
factor in the offtaker being named to U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's (EPA) list of the largest on-site green-power generators
(view press release:
"This project was a natural fit for us," said Michael Hall, Mas
Energy Principal. "It required a thorough understanding of not only
the design, engineering and technical aspects, but also the
commercial, financial and legal components."
As the project's developer, owner, and operator, Mas Energy
acquired the landfill-gas rights, secured financing, negotiated
agreements, and oversaw all permitting, regulatory compliance,
design, construction and operations.
The system generates at least 48 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of
on-site biomass energy annually--the equivalent of eliminating the
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of
more than 6,000 passenger vehicles per year. Overall, it is
expected to reduce the beverage producer's carbon footprint by
approximately 20,400 tons annually.
The trigeneration project includes a vacuum-collection system
that captures methane gas from a nearby landfill. Methane, a
greenhouse gas that is more than 20 times more potent than carbon
dioxide, is naturally produced as organic waste breaks down
anaerobically in landfills. Mas Energy's system converts the gas to
clean-burning fuel and pipes it to the trigeneration facility via a
Trigeneration, or combined cooling, heat and power, refers to
the simultaneous generation of electricity and useful heating and
cooling from the combustion of fuel (which, in this case, is
derived from converting landfill gas to clean-burning fuel). Waste
heat is used for both heating and cooling, achieving overall higher
efficiencies than both traditional and cogeneration facilities.
At the trigeneration plant, located adjacent to the beverage
manufacturing facility, three reciprocating engine generators use
the gas as a primary fuel source to produce energy. Three
heat-recovery steam generators convert the engines' heat exhaust
into steam. A steam-turbine-driven chiller uses the steam to
produce chilled water.
According to the EPA, as of July 2011 there were 558 operational
landfill-gas-to-energy projects in the United States and an
additional 510 landfills that are good candidates for such systems.
The EPA estimates the gas-generation potential of these untapped
landfills is 210 billion cubic feet per year, with an electric
potential of 1,165 megawatts.
In addition to their environmental benefits, landfill
gas-to-energy systems' online reliability is typically more than 90
percent. The systems also act as long-term price and volatility
hedges against fossil fuels. According to the EPA, corporations
investing in landfill-gas-to-energy systems include GM, Honeywell,
Rolls-Royce, Anheuser Busch, Frito Lay, SC Johnson, Cargill, Du
Pont, Tropicana, Dow, Tyson, BMW, Ford, and Kimberly-Clark.
Mas Energy develops, owns and operates energy systems around the
world, with a focus on renewable and clean energy--including wind,
landfill gas, combined heat and power, geothermal, and district
energy--as well as delivering critical energy systems in developing
countries. With more than 70 years of combined energy-development
experience, the firm's principals structure highly complex projects
and transactions that mitigate risk and drive returns for some of
the world's largest companies, investors, utilities and other