Company to create electricity using methane gas in DeKalb Co. - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Company to create electricity using methane gas in DeKalb Co.

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The company plans to begin construction this week at the Sand Valley Landfill in Collinsville. The company plans to begin construction this week at the Sand Valley Landfill in Collinsville.
DEKALB COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

The DeKalb County Commission approved sales and property tax breaks for a company that plans to create electricity with the help of a local landfill.

The company plans to make use of methane gas that's generated through the deterioration of household waste.

Right now, the gas is just being burned off. The goal is to create electricity and sell it to TVA.

Tax revenues will be immediately generated for the school, which are estimated at $100,000 over the next 10 years.

Officials with Energy Developments along with the Economic Development Authority presented their case for approval to the county commission Tuesday morning.

The company plans to begin construction this week at the Sand Valley Landfill in Collinsville.

Methane gas is currently being taken from beneath the ground where solid waste is buried and is burned.

Company officials said they plan to divert that gas to fuel three large caterpillar generators to make electricity. It's expected to produce about five megawatts of electricity per hour.

With a price tag of just over $5-million, company officials said it's a sensible investment.

"The electricity that is generated is renewable, so it's a green product and it's taking an otherwise wasted resource and putting it to a beneficial use," said Dennis Bollinger, Energy Developments VP.

Bollinger said they hope to be operational by September.

Scottsboro and Decatur are the only two facilities like this in Alabama.

While much smaller than the proposed operation in Dekalb County, generators at Scottsboro's landfill just north of Hollywood have been operational now for about 16 months.

That facility was constructed at a cost of just over a million dollars, but costs were significantly reduced through a federal grant.

So far, it's paying off in more ways than one.

"Well, we are going to be able to generate some extra income above expenses for the city, and that's our main concern," said Scottsboro Solid Waste Director, Eddie Blizzard. "Our secondary concern is the destruction of the methane gas, which we are required by the EPA to do."

Officials with the DeKalb facility estimate that once the landfill has used its useful life for garbage collection they will be able to continue generating electricity for an additional 15 to 20 years.

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