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Bannock County Landfill Waste Management

Bannock County Landfill Gas to Energy

Bannock County Landfill

Landfill gas has become a new source of renewable energy in recent years.  As waste decomposes gas is generated within the landfill.  A gas collection system allows Bannock County to remove the gas from the landfill thereby preventing the gas from escaping the facility.  The gas collection system consists of wells that are installed into the waste mass.  Each of the wells are connected with piping to form a network.  Blowers are used to create a vacuum on the network of wells and the gas is used as fuel to run engines within the gas to energy plant.  The engines turn generators that produce power.

Bannock Count Landfill has turned landfill gas from trash decomposition into more than $2.2 million worth of electricity since installing the gas to energy conversion system in April of 2014. As garbage decomposes it creates methane which has 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. The EPA requires a reduction in greenhouse gases released from landfills, so therefore the gas to energy projects are a beneficial use of methane gas.  Bannock County would have been mandated by the EPA to install a gas system once the Non Methane Organic Compound(NMOC) emissions reached 50 metric tons.  That was expected to be by 2024, however the threshold has been changed to 34 metric tons of NMOC.  We are currently less than 10 metric tons of NMOC emissions.  

The Generator installed at the landfill is one of four methane gas to energy systems across the state of Idaho.  This generator runs 24 hours per day, seven days a week and generates approximately 1500 kilowatts of electricity an hour.  The power is put into the electrical grid system owned and operated by Idaho Power.  The generator system will basically pay for the landfill gas extraction over the length of the 20 year contract we have with Idaho Power.  A second generator is currently being installed and is expected to double the kilowatt per hour production.  We currently have 46 total wells with 35 of them active in Cells 1 and 2.  We are in the process of connecting three new wells in Cell 4.

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