Project to bring environmental and financial benefits to Milwaukee community
Veolia ES Solid Waste this week signed a contract with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) to develop an alternative energy project that is estimated to save MMSD customers tens of millions of dollars over 20 years. The agreement includes the construction of a low-pressure, “green” pipeline to transport landfill gas from Veolia’s Emerald Park Landfill in Muskego to downtown Milwaukee, where it will fuel three new turbines at the MMSD’s Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility. The project is expected to be operational by 2013.
“Converting landfill gas into electricity is a truly sustainable model for energy development that benefits every constituent served by MMSD from an environmental and economic standpoint,” stated Jim Long, president and CEO of Veolia ES Solid Waste.
“This is one of a number of landfill gas-to-energy projects that our company has undertaken, turning waste into a resource for the communities we serve. We are proud to be part of this historic project and are committed to working closely with the MMSD for the benefit of the entire Milwaukee comunity.” MMSD will design, construct and operate the low-pressure, landfill gas pipeline. The pipeline will run approximately 19 miles from the Veolia ES Emerald Park Landfill in Muskego, Wis. to the Jones Island Water Reclamation facility in Milwaukee. Prior to entering the pipeline, the landfill gas will be cleaned and prepared via specialized equipment at the landfill. When the gas arrives at Jones Island, three new turbines will transform it into energy, significantly reducing the amount of electricity and natural gas the MMSD purchases to clean wastewater.
At only 100 pounds per square inch (PSI), the pipeline will have less pressure than other natural gas pipelines, which are usually in excess of 300 PSI. It will be approximately 16 inches in diameter and will be constructed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a strong heat-, chemical- and corrosion-resistant thermoplastic.
“The price of energy is a major expense for us,” said Kevin Shafer, MMSD executive director. “Volatile natural gas costs have had a negative impact on our budget and our customers. For example, we spent $14.8 million in 2008 on natural gas. By using landfill gas to fuel our Jones Island facility, we will save tens of millions of dollars in energy costs over the next two decades – savings we can pass along to our customers.”
The Veolia ES Emerald Park Landfill currently produces enough landfill gas to meet approximately 50 percent of MMSD’s current fuel needs at Jones Island. The landfill will be able to supply all MMSD fuel needs by 2025, meeting the majority of the district’s fuel needs – with renewable energy – during the 20-year agreement. In addition, the use of methane, or landfill gas, is projected to have a combined reduction in carbon dioxide emissions between the two facilities.
The project has the support of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as well as various local governments.