New Pipeline Will Help Convert Miamidade Landfill Gases To Electricity
By Ashley Hopkins
Miami-Dade’s Water and Sewer Department is constructing a pipeline that will pump landfill gases to a nearby wastewater treatment plant, creating both electricity and county jobs.
According to county documents, contractors working on the methane sequestration project are to upgrade and expand the cogeneration system at the South District Wastewater Treatment Plant, which generates electricity from digester gas now being produced at the plant. Landfill gas, produced at the Solid Waste Department’s South Dade Landfill, will be collected and piped to the treatment plant, where it will be mixed with digester gases to create electricity.
"It takes the methane and instead of flaring it off, you get the energy out of it," said Lee S. Casey, chief of the environmental compliance division of the Department of Solid Waste Management.
According to Mr. Casey, while the treatment plant has received permits through the Department of Environmental Protection, the landfill is awaiting the go-ahead.
Combining landfill and digester gases will let the county increase the amount of self-generated electricity it produces, reducing Miami-Dade’s consumption of electricity from fossil fuel.
According to Maggie Fernandez, program manager for the county’s Office of Sustainability, the project has the potential to produce 63,800 kilowatts each day and could generate 40 jobs.
The project is to be financed through the $12.5 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, which the county received through the 2009 federal stimulus. While 12.2 jobs were created through the program between September and December 2010, Ms. Fernandez said she expects the number to increase as projects make their way to completion.
"We’re going to see that number increase as the quarter ends," she said.
The Office of Sustainability’s reporting period ends March 31.
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