Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue Announces NC GreenPower’s First Generation of Methane Gas for North Carolina’s Power Supply
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A groundbreaking statewide initiative to develop new sources of renewable energy unveiled its first Western North Carolina site today, a project to generate electricity from landfill waste.
Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue joined with local electric utility officers and officials of NC GreenPower, a first-in-the-nation statewide initiative to improve North Carolina’s environment by encouraging the development of renewable energy sources, at the Buncombe County Landfill to announce the “Buncombe County Landfill Gas Project,” developed by Enerdyne Properties.
The Buncombe County Landfill Gas Project is designed to create electricity by tapping methane gas produced at the landfill as a “green” energy source. The project will allow for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, develop a renewable resource of energy that creates a safe and cleaner landfill environment and provide a stable and reliable source of energy.
“Today’s announcement embodies North Carolina’s commitment to the three E’s: environment, economy and energy,” said Lt. Gov. Perdue.
“We can and we must protect our environment by encouraging the development and use of renewable energy resources,” continued Perdue. “We can choose to spend our energy dollars in state, for our state; and we can strive to provide energy security for North Carolinians by investing in local, alternative energy sources.”
Bob Goodson, chairperson of the NC GreenPower Board of Directors, reported that the program has nearly 8,000 participants statewide, representing citizens and businesses that care about a cleaner environment. These participants currently subscribe to 22 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy generation each year, which in turn provides an annual offset in carbon dioxide equivalent to 3.5 million trees planted.
“Progess Energy is committed to exploring and investing in new energy sources and being part of their development,” said Fred Day, president and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas. “We are especially proud to be working with the Buncombe Landfill Gas Project, the largest supplier of renewable energy to date in the NC GreenPower program.”
Large municipal or industrial landfills produce gas that can be tapped to generate electricity. Microorganisms that live in organic materials such as food wastes, paper or yard clippings cause these materials to decompose. This produces landfill gas, typically comprised of roughly 60 percent methane and 40 percent carbon dioxide (or “CO2”).
Landfills are the largest human related source of methane in the United States, accounting for 34% of all methane emissions. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, more than 21 times more potent than Carbon Dioxide emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all large landfills to install collection systems at landfill sites to minimize the release of methane gas, a major contributor to global climate change.
Landfill gas is collected by drilling “wells” into the landfills, and collecting the gases through pipes. Once the landfill gas is processed, it can be combined with natural gas to supplement the natural gas supply or can be burned in an internal combustion engine or micro turbine coupled to a generator to create electricity.
About NC GreenPower
NC GreenPower is the nation’s first statewide, multi-utility initiative to encourage the development of renewable energy sources. The program taps into technology that transforms renewable energy sources such as wind, sunshine and landfill methane gas into safe and environmentally sustainable power, giving North Carolinians cleaner options for their energy sources. The N.C. Utilities Commission approved the NC GreenPower program plan in January 2003. NC GreenPower is a subsidiary of Advanced Energy, a Raleigh-based nonprofit corporation that helps utility, industrial and residential customers improve the return on their energy investment.
Residential and business customers may voluntarily contribute funds that NC GreenPower will use to purchase power from renewable energy sources in the state. All renewable energy will be generated in North Carolina for the state’s electric supply. Customers also may sign up for the program by contacting their electric provider.
For additional information about NC GreenPower visit www.ncgreenpower.org.
NC GreenPower, an independent nonprofit organization, was approved by the N.C. Utilities Commission to provide North Carolinians with cleaner options for their energy sources. NC GreenPower is committed to environmental protection by increasing renewable energy sources in North Carolina.