Construction of the new gas to energy plant at the 121 Regional Disposal Facility in Melissa is finally complete. The plant, operated by Morrow Renewables, will harvest the methane produced by the landfill and convert it to clean-burning renewable natural gas for energy production and other beneficial use. The sale of the natural gas will help offset the operating cost of the landfill.
Landfill gas is a complex mixture of gases, but methane makes up the largest portion. EPA regulations for greenhouse gases require us to burn off landfill gas in a flare or capture the methane to prevent it from being released into the atmosphere because methane is 26 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide (CO2). We are currently harvesting enough methane to equal the CO2 emissions of:
- 29.6 million gallons of gasoline (consumed annually), or
- 612,008 barrels of oil (consumed annually)
To put that in perspective, it would take 248,267 acres of forests one year to absorb an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide.
The addition of 75 more gas wells next year will increase our production levels by approximately 32% while still leaving room for future capacity. The installation of the new wells is expected to begin in early 2018.