Landfill waste set to provide more power to the MCLB
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Your household trash may soon provide more power to the Marine Corps Logistics Base.
Military leaders are taking notice of the renewable energy project between the MCLB and Dougherty County. It's an effort planners are hoping to expand this year.
The mounds of trash at the Dougherty County landfill are serving the nation with mountains of energy. "We're constantly adding garbage to the hill, so we're adding more gas," said Scott Addison, Dougherty County Solid Waste Director.
Many items we throw away release methane as they break down. That's a key component of natural gas.
"So this project will be providing landfill gas in usable quantities for years, even after closure of the landfill," said Addison.
What used to be burned off is now collected and used to power the Marine Corps Logistics Base.
"MCLB Albany has received a number of awards both from the Secretary of Navy and Department of Energy of the last couple years for our landfill gas-to-energy plant," said Fred Broome, MCLB Installation & Environment Division Director.
Gas is vacuumed from landfill wells to a station near the landfill before it's chilled and sold to the base. It's a partnership dating back to 2011, which generates about $120,000 for the county every year.
"By buying gas from the county we're able to produce electricity at a cheaper rate than we buy off the grid," Broome said.
A single generator provides about a fifth of the base's energy.
"You know, average we may run about 6-700 cubic feet per minute of gas, and it's on a continual basis," Addison said.
A second generator set to be installed on the base this December will boost that amount.
"We should be up to about 30-percent in excess of the 30% that we can generate from the methane gas by the end of the year," said Broome. He said the Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy will visit Wednesday to see the project. "MCLB Albany is one of the top bases in the Navy and Marine Corps for energy programs."
The $4.5 Million project, he said, will help the base exceed federal energy requirements.
Half of all Navy and Marine Corps bases will have to fully operate off renewable resources by 2020. Planners say they're confident MCLB will meet that requirement.
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