The city of Charleston W.V is taking the first steps in lowering it’s carbon footprint and addressing climate change. West Virginia’s first methane-fueled power plant has started producing electricity and the developer says it will reach full operating capacity by December.
Charleston Clean Energy LLC built the $6 million plant at Charleston’s landfill with the assistance of TerraPass. The plant burns methane generated as a byproduct from the decomposing trash.
Charleston Clean Energy’s lease with the city requires it to pay a royalty. According to the Associated Press who interviewed City Councilman Ed Talkington said “the city received $45,195 from January to September and he expects that amount to increase significantly once the plant is fully operational.”
When it reaches full capacity, the plant will produce 3 megawatts of electricity. One megawatt is enough to power 5,000 homes as a continuous power source. The company founder of Charleston Clean Energy LLC Tom Loehr said” landfills produce methane for at least 10 years after they are closed.”
When the city started the landfill in 1994, dumps had a life expectancy of 20 years. Talkington said technological advances have increased the expected lifetime of landfill and Charleston’s dump is expected to remain open until 2024. “There is no imminent danger of us closing the landfill down any time soon,” Talkington said. “So, for the foreseeable future the landfill will produce gas,” he said.
Charleston Clean Energy plans to hold a dedication ceremony for the plant after New Year’s.
TerraPass has held a pioneering role in educating the public about carbon footprints and reducing emissions. The San Francisco-based company also works directly with carbon reduction projects, providing revenue to dairy farms, landfill gas installations and other projects that yield carbon credits. As a project developer that has been a model for adhering to only the most comprehensive and rigorous project standards, it has helped numerous companies and individuals offset their emissions. Full project listing
To learn more about How carbon offsets works
PhotoCredit: D’Arcy Norman via Flickr
Information from: Charleston Gazette