BMW Announces Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project

BMW Manufacturing Corp. has announced that it will recycle methane gas generated at the Palmetto Landfill near Spartanburg to fuel gas turbines at the factory.

SPARTANBURG, South Carolina – June 24, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] BMW’s Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project will support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efforts in the Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP), which began in 1994 as a means of converting landfill gas into clean- burning, cost-effective, useable energy. Landfills are the largest human-made methane source in the United States. Methane is produced as trash decomposes. When released into the air, it is a greenhouse gas and contributes to local smog conditions. BMW’s landfill gas-to-energy project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to removing 61,000 automobiles from the U.S. highways each year. And the project will recover sufficient energy to heat the equivalent of 10,000 homes per year. “BMW wants to do whatever it can to make upstate South Carolina a better place to live,” said Robert Hitt, BMW’s Manager for Media and Public Affairs. “This project allows BMW to take a wasted energy source and use it to generate electricity, which benefits the environment and area residents through lower emissions.” The efficient cogeneration of electricity and hot water has been a part of BMW’s overall plan since construction began on this plant in 1993. “Cogeneration is used at many of BMW’s worldwide facilities. We are pleased to add a green power component by using this Renewable Energy source. We strive to be a good environmental partner with the community by simultaneously improving energy utilization and regional air quality,” Hitt said. To utilize the gas, a 9.5-mile pipeline will be built from the landfill to BMW Manufacturing. Construction on the Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project will begin in July 2002, with a target completion date near the end of the year. BMW’s partners in this multi-million dollar project are Ameresco Energy Services and Waste Management Inc. Ameresco will design, build and own the pipeline, gas processing and gas compression facilities as well as manage the overall operations of the project once completed. The company’s project experience includes energy conservation activities with Fortune 500 aerospace and automotive manufacturers, public and private school systems, state and municipal governments, large universities, and government agencies. Waste Management, which owns and operates the Palmetto Landfill, has been developing landfill gas-to-energy projects for more than 15 years and currently supplies landfill gas to 69 gas-to-energy projects in 21 states.
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