When a wind farm generates power, it displaces electricity generated by conventional sources such as coal and natural gas. Those conventional sources produce carbon dioxide emissions because they burn fossil fuels to spin their turbines, whereas wind farms don't use fossil fuels at all. They're virtually carbon-free!
Your money helps farmers capture and destroy the methane, a powerful global warming gas which forms when managing animal waste. It supports the installation and operation of anaerobic digesters, lagoon covers, and electricity generators.
Landfill gas capture
The trash we bury in landfills decomposes slowly, producing methane which escapes into the atmosphere. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas - about 21 times as powerful as carbon dioxide - so projects which capture and destroy that gas are of great benefit to the climate. These projects capture the methane from landfills using wells, pipes, caps, blowers and other technology; and destroy the gas by burning it in a flare.
Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority
Start date: September, 2007 (new gas-to-energy project)
Standard: Voluntary Carbon Standard 2007
Verifier: TUV SUD Americas
Located in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority Project is a methane abatement and gas-to-energy project. The methane is destroyed by combustion in generators or in an enclosed flare. The gas-to-energy side of the project consists of gas wells, piping, two 1.6-MW generators, the flare (now for backup purposes), and a Renewable Energy Education Center.
Gas capture at the GLRA landfill has occurred in several phases. In the 1980s, a gas-to-energy facility was established by an energy partner at an active section of the landfill which has since been closed. This facility’s permit did not allow expansion, so while the landfill’s methane production grew through the 1990s, the methane destruction capacity did not.
In 2002, the GLRA installed an enclosed flare to destroy excess gas that the energy facility could not accommodate. This flare ran continuously for approximately five years, during which time the GLRA also invested in gas collection piping in its active landfill areas so that gas could be routed to the flare as the waste started its decomposition.
The early landfill gas-to-energy project reached the end of its life and was closed in the spring of 2007. The carbon crediting standards consider longstanding projects like this as part of the project’s baseline — ordinary operations — so the gas volume historically captured by the early facility is subtracted from the volume captured today when greenhouse gas emission reductions are calculated.
Improvements in landfill gas capture technologies and landfill gas-to-energy generation equipment, the growing demand for renewable energy, and the growing markets for carbon credits, all led the GLRA board to invest in a new, larger, and more optimized gas capture and energy project. This project was built with the help of a gas-to-energy partner who shared the capital investment and who benefits by selling the renewable electricity.
The GLRA’s capital investment is expected to be repaid via carbon credit revenue and the sale of its landfill gas to the energy partner.
- Improvement in air quality (e.g., volatile organic compounds reductions)
- Prevention of odor in surrounding areas
Project’s ability to foster further greenhouse gas emissions reductions
- Increased understanding of renewable energy in the local community. The GLRA and its energy partner are installing solar panels and a small wind turbine adjacent to the landfill gas generators. The generator building includes a classroom where students of all ages can view real-time displays of the relative amounts of energy created by these three renewable energy sources.
- The GLRA plans to enhance the project by reusing the waste heat from the generators to replace their fossil-fuel-based heating systems onsite.
- The GLRA staff participates in the US EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program, a program designed to encourage the capture and beneficial use of landfill methane. This project has a visible profile in the landfill gas community as it received a Community Partner of the Year award for 2007.
for further information on the Greater Lebanon Landfill Refuse Authority project.