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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

Project Development Handbook

The LFG Energy Project Development Handbook (PDH) provides an overview of landfill gas (LFG) energy project development guidance and presents the technological, economic and regulatory considerations that affect the feasibility and success of LFG energy projects. Landfill owners, energy service providers, end users, representatives of state agencies and local government, community members and other interested stakeholders will benefit from information provided in this handbook as they work together to develop successful LFG energy projects.

What's New?

This edition expands on project-specific considerations and provides additional information for stakeholders who are new to LFG energy. Examples of successful LFG energy projects have been updated, along with online resources that provide comprehensive details and helpful tools.


You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

The handbook is organized into several chapters that address various aspects of LFG energy projects. The complete PDH and individual chapters can be viewed or downloaded from the links below.

Complete LFG Energy Project Development Handbook (94 pp, 4.8 MB)
Updated: February 2015


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View Individual Chapters

Front Materials (8 pp, 509K)
Updated: February 2015

  • Cover
  • Table of Contents
  • Units of Measure, Element Symbols, Constants and Variables
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms


Introduction (2 pp, 243K)
Updated: February 2015

  • Using the Project Development Handbook
  • Disclaimer
  • About LMOP


Chapter 1. Landfill Gas Energy Basics (16 pp, 1.1 MB)
Updated: February 2015

  • What Is LFG?
  • LFG Collection and Flaring
  • LFG Treatment
  • Uses of LFG
  • Environmental and Economic Benefits of LFG Energy Recovery
  • Overview of the Regulatory Framework
  • Steps to Developing LFG Energy Projects


Chapter 2. Landfill Gas Modeling (6 pp, 472K)
Updated: February 2015

  • Introduction to LandGEM
  • Estimating LFG Collection
  • Model Limitations


Chapter 3. Project Technology Options (17 pp, 1.1 MB)
Updated: February 2015

  • Design Factors
  • Electricity Generation
  • Direct Use of Medium-Btu Gas
  • Conversion to High-Btu Gas
  • Selection of Technology


Chapter 4. Project Economics and Financing (18 pp, 625K)
Updated: February 2015

  • Step 1: Quantify Capital and O&M Costs
  • Step 2: Estimate Energy Sales Revenues and Other Revenue Streams or Incentives
  • Step 3: Assess Economic Feasibility
  • Step 4: Compare All Economically Feasible Options and Select Winners
  • Step 5: Assess Project Financing Options


Chapter 5. Landfill Gas Contracts and Permitting (12 pp, 447K)
Updated: February 2015

  • Power Sales Agreements
  • LFG Purchase Agreements
  • Environmental Attribute Agreements
  • Construction and Operating Permits


Chapter 6. Evaluating and Working with Project Partners (12 pp, 573K)
Updated: February 2015

  • Approaches to Project Development
  • Selecting a Project Developer (Pure Development Approach)
  • Identifying Project Partners (Self-Development Approach)
  • Interacting with Project Partners
  • Evaluating Projects from an End User’s Perspective

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