Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG) has announced its newest landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project located at the Upstate Regional Landfill in Union County. The renewable energy project consists of two reciprocating combustion engines that generate 3,200 kilowatts of energy for the local electric grid, or enough electricity to power more than 1,800 area homes.
"Landfills are essential infrastructure in any community, but their value to society goes well beyond disposal," said Jamey Amick, area president of Republic Services. "Today's landfill can help to regenerate air, water and land in a local ecosystem, and in many cases it can create a renewable power source from waste decomposition. We are incredibly proud of this project, and the economic and environmental impacts it will make in the Upstate area for years to come."
LFGTE projects typically involve capturing methane which is generated when waste decomposes within a landfill. The methane can be harnessed and converted into renewable energy sources that supply the local power grid. This process can displace the use of fossil fuels for energy generation and use, which can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a community.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), three megawatts of energy produced from landfill gas is equivalent to preventing carbon emissions generated by the consumption of 16.6 million gallons of gasoline. Based on EPA methodology, the carbon emissions prevented by the Upstate Regional LFGTE project from entering the air is equivalent to the consumption of roughly 900,000 gallons of gasoline each year.
Republic Services' subsidiary, Republic Services of South Carolina, LLC, partnered with Lockhart Bioenergy, LLC, an affiliate of Lockhart Power Company and Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc., to develop the Upstate Regional LFGTE project. Lockhart Bioenergy will operate the plant, and its output is being purchased by Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).
"Together with Pacolet Milliken's other renewable energy projects, the facility will contribute to the company's ongoing corporate sustainability efforts to become a leader in implementing renewable power alternatives," said Richard Webel, president of Pacolet Milliken, the parent company of Lockhart Power.
"We are pleased to bring another renewable energy facility to South Carolina," said Bryan Stone, chief operating officer at Lockhart Power. "The facility not only generates renewable clean energy for customers in Union County and surrounding areas, but it's also a great economic development tool for attracting industries tailored for green initiatives to our area. This project is a win-win for our community."
Republic Services and its subsidiaries operate 73 landfill gas-to-energy projects nationwide. According to the EPA, the combined environmental benefits from these projects are equal to removing more than four million cars from our roads or planting more than 4.5 million acres of trees per year.