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Fulton landfill methane gas now generates electricity

Fulton landfill methane gas now generates electricity

February 8th, 2012 in News

The new $450,000 generator and control panel is enclosed in a small steel building mounted on a concrete pad. The generator creates electricity by burning methane gas captured and piped from the closed Fulton landfill.

Photo by Don Norfleet

Methane gas from the closed Fulton landfill is now burned to power a new $450,000 generator to create electricity.

Technicians from Martin Machinery in Latham, Mo., Tuesday were testing the big red generator nestled inside a small steel building at the landfill.

For the last six years, methane gas produced by the landfill has been burned off with a flare, which is located a few feet from the generator.

J.C. Miller, landfill manager, said the nearly one-half million dollar generator was paid for through a federal grant.

Miller said the generator is now producing about 183 kilowatts of electricity per hour.

When fully operational, Fulton Utility Superintendent Darrell Dunlap said the generator will be producing enough electricity to serve two Fulton city halls or about 30 homes.

The city does not have electric power lines leading to the landfill outside the city. Miller said it would have been too expensive for the city to run power lines to the landfill.

For that reason, the electricity produced by burning the methane gas is sold to Associated Electric Cooperative, which is part of the electric power grid of Callaway Electric Cooperative.

"We have contracts to sell the electricity to three Callaway Electric agencies," Dunlap said.

The generator is now producing 183 kilowatts of electricity per hour.

Miller said after fully operational, the unit probably will generate from 225 kilowatts per hour to perhaps up to 325 kilowatts per hour.

Miller said at 5 cents a kilowatt, 183 kilowatts per hour now generated would amount to electricity worth $9.15 an hour or $219.60 a day. At that rate it would generate about $80,154 a year of electricity.