[Homestead] Capturing Landfill Methane
mogrits at gmail.com
Tue Apr 22 08:43:37 EDT 2008
>From my local paper, and located in my town. This is the second project of
this type in our county. My company built the support structures associated
with the first project that sends gas to BMW. That project involved a
private landfill (Waste Management) and a private energy company (Ameresco)
sending the methane to BMW Manufacturing. I notice this one will require
gov't. funding to get constructed. I don't feel so bad about that as I
might, seeing that Roger Milliken's company will be involved.
"County plans to let Milliken use landfill for power
By Jason Spencer
Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Milliken & Co. and Spartanburg County Council took the first steps Monday
toward drawing up an agreement that would allow the harvesting of methane
gas from rotting garbage in the county's Wellford landfill to power
Milliken's Dewey Chemical Plant in Inman.
The partnership, coincidentally announced a day before Earth Day, was
described as a source of money for the county government and a huge
deterrent to air pollution in the Upstate.
The methane would offset 100 percent of the Dewey Chemical Plant's use of
natural gas and other fossil fuels as a power source, Milliken & Co.
spokesman Richard Dillard said.
Assistant County Administrator Chris Story said the annual environ-
mental benefits of harvesting methane from the county's landfill would be
equal to or greater than any one of the following:
u Removing the emissions of 10,000 vehicles
u Planting 14,000 acres of forest
u Offsetting the use of 260 railroad cars of coal
u Offsetting the use of 125,000 barrels of oil
u Eliminating 52,000 tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide
u Eliminating the pollution emissions from providing electricity to 5,000
Story read through the list a second time, with more flair, as a contingent
of Milliken employees posed for a picture with County Council.
"Air quality is an issue of vital importance in Spartanburg County, both to
the health of our citizens and in regard to federal standards," he said.
"There is perhaps no bigger bite of the apple that we could take today than
Initial estimates are that the county would pay $3.8 million up front to
improve the methane extraction process at the landfill and run pipes to the
Milliken plant, which is about seven miles away.
Funding hasn't been finalized.
Story suggested it could be paid for by issuing a bond.
As the contract is ironed out, the cost of methane will be tied to the cost
of natural gas.
At that rate, the county expects to recoup its investment within about seven
years. After that, it could generate several hundred thousand dollars a
year, Story said.
This program is similar to the gas-to-energy project that helps power the
BMW Manufacturing plant near Greer. The automaker uses methane from the
Palmetto Landfill as a source of 63 percent of its power, offsetting an
estimated 60,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Milliken & Co. has been looking at methane as a power source for years, said
David Beard, the company's director of energy.
Beard said he hopes to have the project with Spartanburg County online by
the first of the year, or the summer of 2009 at the latest.
Dillard told the council, "If Milliken was a color, it would be green."
He cited the 600 acres of green space the company's headquarters sits on in
Spartanburg. He said the company has reduced water use by 50 percent since
1991, and energy use by 30 percent in that time frame. And he said that only
1 percent of Milliken & Co.'s solid waste ends up in a landfill due to
Milliken & Co. already harvests 80 percent of the methane from a landfill in
LaGrange, Ga., to replace natural gas consumption for its carpet
manufacturing facility there, Dillard said.
The company's initial contract with Spartanburg County would be for 10
years, though the methane from the landfill is expected to last longer than
"I take my hat off to you and congratulate you and Mr. (Roger) Milliken and
your whole team, because you do continuously set us apart from every other,
not just manufacturing operation in the world, but business as well," County
Councilman David Britt said. "Everybody else follows your lead."
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