The ONYX Seven Mile Creek Landfill gas-to-energy facility in Eau Claire is now online. The three unit, 3 megawatt renewable energy facility is now operational, with the ability to provide electricity to over 2,600 homes.La Crosse and Eau Claire, Wisconsin – April 13, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Dairyland Power Cooperative contracted with ONYX Waste Services, to purchase methane gas collected at the Seven Mile Creek Landfill, a regional collector of residential waste. The methane gas, a natural byproduct of the landfill, is used by Dairyland to generate renewable energy for the residential and business consumers in the cooperative system. Dairyland contracted with Ameresco to design, engineer and construct this facility. Dairyland owns the generating equipment and purchases the gas from ONYX, which owns the landfill and is a member of Eau Claire Energy Cooperative. The environmental benefits are significant. Prior to the facility’s operation, the energy from the methane gas created by the landfill was wasted, simply burned off into the atmosphere. Local air quality will benefit, as the gas will now be harnessed as a renewable energy source. “Now, this is progress,” said Dairyland Power Cooperative President and CEO William Berg. “We are making the world a cleaner place simply by making the electricity we all need in our modern lives with this new facility. Cooperative members want more renewable energy in their power supply, and Dairyland is excited to provide the latest in efficient renewable generation to their local energy cooperatives,” In addition, landfill gas is a reliable energy resource, enabling the power generators to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is good for the environment and good for consumers who depend on a constant energy supply. “Turning this great renewable energy idea into reality required the cooperation of many people, working together. Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, ONYX, Ameresco and Dairyland staff pursued this opportunity jointly. As a team, we were able to bring this facility online, on-time for Dairyland members,” said Dairyland Project Manager Tony McKimmy. Dairyland currently supplies renewable energy to its member distribution cooperatives from its Flambeau Hydro Station near Ladysmith, Wisconsin, and from participation in two wind farms in southwestern Minnesota. In addition, Dairyland is developing a manure digester program at several dairy farms in its service territory, which are scheduled to begin generating renewable energy in late 2004.