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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

City of Keene Renewable Energy and Integrated Sustainable Agriculture and Biofuels Project

Keene, New Hampshire

Federal Funding: $500,000
Project Timeline: January 2011 – January 2014

Latest Update

The City of Keene is transforming an existing landfill gas-to-energy facility into a Combined Heat and Power Plant, which will provide energy to a sustainable agriculture and algae culture system. Since modifying its scope, the City has determined that there is sufficient landfill gas to proceed with the renewable energy project. The City is developing a work agreement with Carbon Harvest Energy LLC to move the project forward, which is hoped to be finalized in December 2012. Construction on the project is planned to begin in June 2013. The City has also conducted a site visit to a similar greenhouse facility by Carbon Harvest in Brattleboro, Vermont, to see a functioning greenhouse and discuss the challenges of implementing the project. Future activities include developing the conceptual infrastructure and system design in early 2013.

Project Summary

A Public-Private Partnership to Demonstrate a Waste-Free Use of Landfill Gas

The City of Keene's civic leadership supports community efforts to save energy, reduce emissions, and create a more sustainable place to live, work, and recreate. The City of Keene, in partnership with Carbon Harvest Energy, will transform the Keene Materials Recovery Facility and closed Landfill into a demonstration-level green energy project for greenhouse gas management through a combined heat and power (CHP) plant powered by methane from the capped landfill. The proposed power plant will provide up to 250 kW of renewable energy to the adjacent Materials Recovery Facility and produce heat for a greenhouse aquaponics project and algae for animal feed and possibly biofuel production. Completing the proposed project will move the City and the community towards its greenhouse gas reduction goal, as well as serve as a solid example of Keene's commitment to moving beyond "the low-hanging" fruit.

The project will proceed in three phases. First, the City will restore and make improvements to the existing landfill gas collection system. The second phase will involve upgrade of the existing system to a CHP plant to enable full recovery of available landfill gas, as well as installation of a landfill gas boiler and associated heat recovery systems for the plant's integration to agricultural and algae production systems. Finally, the City, in partnership with Carbon Harvest Energy, will build a 20,000 square foot greenhouse with aquaculture system and plant production for year-round, high quality fish protein and fresh vegetables, which will be sold locally. The CHP power generator will provide low-cost heat to the greenhouse, and the recirculating aquaculture systems will provide high value organic nutrients for the plants and the algae culture system. Working within research and development partnerships with Keene State College and Dartmouth College, the algae culture system will be designed to capture remaining wastes and carbon and convert them to algae for use in the research of biofuel production and livestock feed for fish and poultry.

This zero fossil fuel facility will remove approximately 6,000 metric tons of carbon per year from landfill gas emissions and convert this source of greenhouse gas into high quality local food, biofuel, and aquaculture feed while producing virtually zero waste. In addition, the City will share the results and progress of the project by developing a project blog posted on the city website. Tours of the facility will be given and elected leaders and project staff will deliver presentations to various audiences about the project. Keene will also seek other ways to highlight this work.

Community Characteristics

Population 22,539
Area 37.6 square miles
Government Type City
Community Type Small Urban
Median Household Income $51,375

Program Results

  Reported Results (as of September 2012) Projected Cumulative Results
Annual GHG Reductions n/a 16,500 mt CO2e

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