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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

Project Profile

South Kent Generating Station

LMOP Award Winner
Location:
Byron Center, Michigan
End User(s):
Consumers Energy
Sector(s):
Utility
Landfill(s):
South Kent Landfill
Landfill Size:
3.5 million tons waste-in-place (2006)
Project Type:
Reciprocating Engine (two Caterpillar 3520Cs)
Project Size:
3.2 megawatts (MW)
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 29,000 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 26,000 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 316,600 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 1,900 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0371 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Caterpillar, Inc., Kent County Department of Public Works, MI, Granger Energy
Last Updated:
7/7/2010

Photo of a plant operator controlling the engine specifications remotely from a laptop computer.

Less than 11 months after signing a contract to generate electricity, the Kent County Department of Public Works and Granger Energy celebrated the official opening of the South Kent Generating Station. Kent County's strong desire to serve the community and implement a long-term landfill gas (LFG) energy strategy led to recognition as LMOP's 2009 Community Partner of the Year.

Kent County seized the opportunity for an innovative and fast developing project when it was approached by Granger to generate electricity using LFG from the South Kent Landfill. Granger already had a power purchase agreement with Consumers Energy, with the flexibility for expansion by generating electricity from additional facilities. Granger's existing power purchase agreement and proven record were key factors in this project's quick fruition.

To contribute to the project's success, the county wanted to invest in the project. Thus, in a unique agreement, Granger agreed to split ownership of the generating facility. The county owns and operates the LFG collection system and owns the building that houses the electric generation system, while Granger owns the gas processing and electric equipment. By splitting the investment, both parties shared the risks and rewards of the project.

The project employed advanced technology:

  • A control system helps operators monitor the vacuum, temperature, gas pressure, flow, customer operating conditions, gas quality, and equipment performance.
  • Operators can remotely observe the current status of the facility, the LFG management system, and the customers.
  • The electricity generating facility is integrated with the LFG management system such that the blower-flare system can automatically compensate for variations in gas demand for electrical production, ensuring maximum environmental protection.

The county's Department of Public Works offers facility tours, school presentations, and classroom kits for school-aged children. As of November 2009, the county had already completed 155 tours of its Materials Recycling Facility, 26 tours of the South Kent Landfill, and given 27 school presentations. The county's existing public education/community outreach programs offer a unique and effective way to educate people about the benefits of using LFG as a source of energy. At the South Kent Generating Station, the county expects to use the new facility's conference room to host educational meetings during facility tours.

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