Volkswageon - Smart Energy Decisions

Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  January 9, 2017

Already leader in landfill gas, Waste Management will increase solar, wind project hosting in 2017

As both a supplier and user of renewable energy, Waste Management Inc. has taken a holistic approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions that includes energy conservation and renewable energy sources, landfill gas in particular.

In the company's recently released 2016 sustainability report, the waste management, comprehensive waste, and environmental services company said it is increasingly utilizing sources such as wind, solar, waste heat and landfill gas to power its facilities. Since 2007, Waste Management's fleet of landfill gas-to-energy facilities has expanded by more than 25%. In 2015, the company said it operated 136 projects of various types that generated energy at 126 landfills; its projects generate the equivalent of more than 4.6 million MWh per year. 

The company's involvement with other forms of renewable energy generation is focused on being a site host for clean energy development. The strategy supports the U.S. EPA's RE-Powering America's Land initiative, which encourages renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites.  In 2015, Waste Management says it hosted the generation of 289,000 MWh of energy from wind, avoiding 111,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. 

For example, the company partnered with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey-based electric utility Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., agreeing to host the installation of two solar facilities, one about 13 MW and the other about 10 MW, at its landfills in the state. 

Waste Management said it will build on that successful partnership in 2017  by working with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and two strategic partners, Citizens Energy Corporation and Southern Sky Renewable Energy, to redevelop four closed landfills, resulting in an additional 17 MW of solar power. 

On energy conservation, the company said initiatives used include: 

  • Deploying wind- and solar-driven landfill gas control devices and leachate extraction pumps;
  • Producing landfill gas on-site for use in nearby facilities;
  • Using waste heat to power other devices on-site to evaporate leachate and heat buildings;
  • Utilizing variable frequency drives to reduce electricity use, reducing our parasitic load and increasing the amount of renewable energy we deliver to the grid; and
  • Conducting energy efficiency audits to identify potential energy savings.

 

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