New Illinois landfill gas plant added to co-op energy source

Wabash landfillWabash Valley Power Association, an electric generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative, has added another landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) generating plant to its power supply portfolio. The Clinton facility is located in DeWitt County, Illinois, and marks the 15th project for the G&T, which serves 25 electric cooperatives including three in Illinois.

The purchase of this 3.2-megawatt (MW) plant brings the G&T’s total generating capacity at its LFGTE facilities to just over 47 MW and marks its first such project in Illinois.

“Facilities like the Clinton ­project produce enough electricity to power 3,500 homes,” reported Keith Thompson, Vice President, Power Production for Wabash Valley Power. “The decomposition of garbage ­creates landfill gas, which is primarily methane. In most landfills, that gas is burned off, but with today’s tech­nology, we’re able to transform it into electricity.”

Since 2002, Wabash Valley Power has built or purchased 15 generating facilities at nine landfills throughout the northern half of Indiana and now in Illinois. The electricity represents a highly reliable energy source for the co-op, which also buys wind-­generated energy from ­facilities in Illinois and Iowa. Including the Clinton facility, all plants run on engines manufactured by Caterpillar.

“Our board of directors has been very proactive when it comes to ­looking at the fuel sources behind the electricity we produce,” stated Rick Coons, CEO. “We’ve had great success with our landfill gas projects, we’ve made strategic wind purchases and now we’re seeing the launch of community solar projects with several of our member cooperatives. In a state dominated by coal, we continue to make great strides to diversify our fuel sources.”