HOUSTON, Miss. – Gov. Phil Bryant, state, county and local officials today joined with Waste Management (WM), TVA, the Natchez Trace Electric Power Association and the award-winning Houston High School Solar Power Racing Team for the dedication and launch of WM’s Prairie Bluff Landfill, the state’s newest gas-to-energy project. The energy produced at this facility will generate enough electricity to power approximately 900 homes in and around Chickasaw County.
A participant in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Renewable Standard Offer program, Prairie Bluff collects gas from decomposing waste, which is used to power engines that produce electricity. The resulting power is redistributed locally through the Natchez Trace Electric Power Association to power homes in Houston, Miss.
“Part of my energy plan for Mississippi includes maximizing our state’s resources while expanding the energy value chain,” Gov. Bryant said. “Today’s announcement is proof that Mississippi can help lead with new, diverse energy opportunities that create jobs, boost economies and further our drive toward energy independence.”
“By investing in landfill gas, we are now powering homes with the same waste left at the curb,” said David Myhan, WM Area Vice President – Gulf Coast. “Now that this plant has formally launched, the community can feel good knowing that the garbage they throw away is not going to waste. Waste Management has been working to develop this technology for more than two decades and, as a leader in this industry, is committed to capturing value, even when waste is disposed.”
Prairie Bluff uses collection wells placed all over the landfill to absorb gas created during the natural decomposition of organic materials, such as food and yard waste. Once landfill gas is collected, it’s piped to an onsite renewable energy facility. Energy created from landfill gas is:
· Recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency
· Not dependent on other environmental factors, like wind or sunlight
· Reliable during peak energy hours
· An economic alternative to other fuel sources, like natural gas
“TVA is honored to join Waste Management, Natchez Trace Electric Power Association and the state of Mississippi in this great clean energy partnership,” said Kim Greene, TVA Executive Vice President and Chief Generation Officer. “This is Waste Management’s third landfill methane project in the Tennessee Valley, and their expanding participation in TVA renewable energy initiatives is helping us achieve our vision to be one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by 2020.”
Waste Management also supplies renewable power to TVA through its West Camden, Tenn., landfill and Chestnut Ridge landfill near Knoxville, Tenn.
In total, WM owns or operates more than 120 landfill gas-to-energy facilities across North America, producing enough electricity to power more than 400,000 homes. Combined with the company’s other renewable energy projects, WM produces over 9 million megawatts of electricity, enough for more than 1.2 million homes.