King County, PSE & Bio Energy-Washington Generate Energy From Landfill Gas

King County, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and Bio Energy-Washington are joining forces to turn the Seattle’s garbage into energy. The project will use the methane gas generated from decomposing garbage buried at the county’s Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Maple Valley, about 20 miles southeast of Seattle. Methane produced by the landfill will be collected, processed, and piped to Puget Sound Energy’s natural gas-fired power plants.

“By partnering with Puget Sound Energy and Bio Energy-Washington, King County is fulfilling our commitment to a cleaner, greener future,” said King County Executive Ron Sims. “We are reducing carbon dioxide emissions roughly equal to taking 22,000 average passenger cars off the road each year, and we’re creating a valuable commodity from what was previously considered a useless byproduct.”

The power PSE produces from Cedar Hills’ methane, which is equivalent to the output of a 35-megawatt gas-fired power plant, will put the Cedar Hills project among the five largest landfill-gas energy project in the nation. There are more than 100 landfill-gas power projects today in the United States.

A connecting line that runs between the landfill and the adjacent Northwest Pipeline will transport the methane gas to PSE natural gas-fired power plants. PSE will use the methane, the primary component of commercial-grade natural gas, to generate an estimated 287,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually.

Bio Energy-Washington is building and operating the gas-to-energy facility at Cedar Hills, which includes the quarter-mile pipeline for shipping the processed landfill gas to Northwest Pipeline and on to PSE’s natural gas-fired power plants.

The company estimates that it will process and deliver at least 4.5 million cubic feet of methane to PSE daily from the county landfill. Deliveries are expected to average about 5.5 million cubic feet per day over 20 years and start by the end of April.

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