Landfill Gas Capture

Project Details

Project type :  Landfill gas capture
What they do : Gas from the garbage decomposing at the landfill is collected and converted into energy.
Where they are : Greer, South Carolina
Portfolio Year : 2009
Standard : Climate Action Reserve (California Climate Action Registry)
Verifier : First Environment

About the Project

This landfill’s methane gas capture system had to overcome many obstacles to be built. The Enoree Landfill is a small, municipally-owned solid waste disposal facility in Greer, South Carolina which closed in 2007 after 12 years of use. Due to its small size, the landfill’s closure plan did not require an active gas management system. Nonetheless, Greenville Gas Producers LLC, funded and installed a gas collection system, flare, and later a landfill gas-to-energy system which depends on carbon credit revenues to create a reasonable investment return.

Greenville Gas Producers, managed by Enerdyne Power Systems of Charlotte, NC, took the unusual approach of funding a gas collection system and power generation plant, even though the gas supply will by necessity decline year over year. The project had other unusual factors weighing against it as well; for example, the local utility decided it did not want, nor was it required, to purchase the plant’s electricity. So the project included a new electricity line over a mile long to a different utility’s system so the power could be sold.

To overcome these barriers, Greenville Gas Producers assembled a collection of revenue streams to pay for the project investment. These include the electricity and renewable energy credits, as well as carbon credits. All revenue streams were necessary to create an investment return that could support the $5 million in upfront capital required.

Today, the project includes the gas collection system that pulls methane into pipes before it can be emitted into the air, and two Caterpillar engine-generators with a combined 3.2-megawatt generation capacity.

In the community

The methane gas capture system improves air quality, such as volatile organic carbon emission reductions and prevention of odor in surrounding areas help clear the air for the local community. Construction and maintenance jobs related to the project as well as the incoming revenue for Greenville County help support the local economy.

The very early commitment to establishing carbon credits using rigorous international standards was a laudable forward-looking approach. For these and other reasons, this project is a past winner of the EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program’s “Project of the Year” award.