Among the first renewable energy resources adopted by American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) and its member communities was the use of landfill sites in Ohio to provide a steady source of base-load generation.
AMP has contracted Waste Management for 6.4 MW of methane-gas-generated power at their Geneva Landfill (Geneva, OH) and Mahoning Landfill (New Springfield, OH) and Ohio Renewable Energy Services (ORES) for 2 MW of methane-gas-generated power from the Erie County Landfill (Milan, OH). In 2017, AMP also added an agreement with EDI for the purchase of 4 MW of methane-gas generated power from the Brown County Landfill in Georgetown, OH. Five AMP member communities receive landfill gas power through AMP.
These sites are fueled by landfill gas, produced by decomposing garbage and collected by a series of pipes throughout the landfill for use as a fuel in either a gas engine or gas turbine generators. Landfill gas is a mixture of gases, with the largest component being methane. Solid waste landfills are the second largest human-generated source of methane emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA says these sites also indirectly reduce air pollution by offsetting the use of non-renewable resources, such as oil and natural gas. The agency further notes that the overall environmental improvement from landfill gas electricity generation projects is significant because of the large methane reductions, hazardous air pollutant reductions, and avoidance of the use of limited non-renewable resources that are more polluting than landfill gas.
* Note that AMP, on behalf of its members, sells all or a portion of the renewable energy certificates created by its renewable energy projects, power purchase agreements and joint ventures to help reduce its wholesale power costs.