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Medford dump transformed into energy farm

The largest landfill in Jackson County is transforming itself into an alternative energy farm that will burn waste methane to produce a steady 3.2 megawatts of power for the next century. The Dry Creek landfill takes in 900 tons of municipal garbage a day. But construction has just started on a powerhouse, which will go online next spring with two large, 20-cylinder Caterpillar engines, to use that decomposing garbage from Jackson and Josephine counties to convert into energy. A third engine may be added later. It's the first green landfill in Southern Oregon. Burning 1,040 cubic feet of methane per minute, its output would continually power about 3,000 homes, said Dry Creek General Manager Lee Fortier, a civil engineer who designed the landfill. Similar green energy farms are in Eugene and Corvallis. Energy will be sold to Pacific Power and fed into the grid.

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The dump is going green.

The largest landfill in Jackson County is transforming itself into an alternative energy farm that will burn waste methane to produce a steady 3.2 megawatts of power for the next century.

The Dry Creek landfill takes in 900 tons of municipal garbage a day. But construction has just started on a powerhouse, which will go online next spring with two large, 20-cylinder Caterpillar engines, to use that decomposing garbage from Jackson and Josephine counties to convert into energy. A third engine may be added later.

It's the first green landfill in Southern Oregon. Burning 1,040 cubic feet of methane per minute, its output would continually power about 3,000 homes, said Dry Creek General Manager Lee Fortier, a civil engineer who designed the landfill.

Similar green energy farms are in Eugene and Corvallis. Energy will be sold to Pacific Power and fed into the grid.

Rogue Disposal and Recycling, which owns the landfill, will get credit in the form of Green Tags -- each equivalent to 1,000 kilowatt hours of fossil fuel energy -- which it sells to the Bonneville Environmental Foundation for marketing to utility customers. The money is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The dump is going green.

The largest landfill in Jackson County is transforming itself into an alternative energy farm that will burn waste methane to produce a steady 3.2 megawatts of power for the next century.

The Dry Creek landfill takes in 900 tons of municipal garbage a day. But construction has just started on a powerhouse, which will go online next spring with two large, 20-cylinder Caterpillar engines, to use that decomposing garbage from Jackson and Josephine counties to convert into energy. A third engine may be added later.

It's the first green landfill in Southern Oregon. Burning 1,040 cubic feet of methane per minute, its output would continually power about 3,000 homes, said Dry Creek General Manager Lee Fortier, a civil engineer who designed the landfill.

Similar green energy farms are in Eugene and Corvallis. Energy will be sold to Pacific Power and fed into the grid.

Rogue Disposal and Recycling, which owns the landfill, will get credit in the form of Green Tags -- each equivalent to 1,000 kilowatt hours of fossil fuel energy -- which it sells to the Bonneville Environmental Foundation for marketing to utility customers. The money is used to help develop alternative energy sources and thus, reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

"It's pretty exciting for us, for the solid waste field, to make a meaningful impact on energy independence in Southern Oregon through the production of green power," said Rogue Disposal Chief Executive Officer Stephen Gambee.

Dry Creek has contemplated a green system for years, but it requires a certain volume of garbage to function -- and the Rogue Valley has just recently crossed that threshold, Fortier said.

"With this new technology, we're using energy that was just being wasted (before)," Fortier said. "It is, by far, one of the most positive environmental landfill projects, in its ability to capture that resource and turn it into green energy."

Even after the 230-acre Dry Creek landfill is "full" in 75 to 100 years, it will continue to generate methane for another quarter century, Fortier said.

Every Green Tag prevents the release of 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and helps fund projects such as a 400-megawatt wind farm in southern Washington, solar projects near Klamath Falls and tidal and wave energy research on the Central Oregon coast, said Bonneville Environmental Foundation President and CEO Angus Duncan.

 


Source: http://www.kgw.com/business...

SEP 21 2006
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