Hoosier Energy, a Bloomington, Ind.-based power provider, and local guests celebrated official start-up of the Livingston Renewable Energy Station Nov. 7, 2013, at the Livingston Landfill - a 460-acre, Republic Services site just north of Pontiac, Ill.
James Weimer, Hoosier Energy board chairman; Steve Smith, Hoosier Energy CEO; and Eric Dippon, Republic Services environmental manager, dedicate the Livingston Renewable Energy Station at the Livingston Landfill on Nov. 7, 2013.
The newly refurbished 15-megawatt (MW) generating facility adds to Hoosier Energy's clean energy power production portfolio serving electric consumers in Illinois and Indiana.
Cooperative leaders, local officials and guests attended the dedication ceremony to see and hear about the latest milestone in Hoosier Energy's 65-year history.
"Landfill methane generation projects such as these are truly a winner for all concerned," said James Weimer, Hoosier Energy board chairman.
"For several years, Hoosier Energy has pursued clean energy projects that make good economic sense and offer a reliable source of power for our members," Hoosier Energy CEO Steve Smith said. "The Livingston Renewable Energy Station certainly fits well in that category."
Republic's Environmental Manager Eric Dippon and Hoosier Energy Vice President of Power Production Rob Hochstetler joined Smith and Weimer for ribbon cutting ceremonies.
The new facility makes use of landfill gas, which occurs naturally from decomposing waste. Landfill generation projects help destroy methane, a potent greenhouse gas and offset the use of other fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil.
Electricity produced at the plant from the gas is enough to provide power for about 9,000 homes that typically use 1,200 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. Methane consumed by the plant is equivalent to removing 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide, which is equal to removing nearly 100,000 average vehicles off the road.
Hoosier Energy purchased the generating facility in late 2011 and has received favorable support from the Livingston County Board and local officials.
"Cooperatives have a long tradition of working with local communities and this project is no exception. We've had great support, encouragement and local involvement from Livingston County, Pontiac and other local communities," Hochstetler said.
Smith said the company partnered with the landfill owner and operator as well as Ameresco - the company that assisted in the facility's refurbishment - to return the generating engines to like-new condition.
This is Hoosier Energy's second landfill methane generation facility. The Clark-Floyd Landfill Methane Generation Project in southern Indiana was constructed in 2007, expanded in 2009 and produces 3.5-MW of electricity.
The Livingston Renewable Energy Station complements other Hoosier Energy generation efforts in Illinois. Holland Energy Plant, a natural gas-fired, 630-MW combined cycle power facility in Beecher City is operated in partnership with Wabash Valley Power. The power supply cooperative also purchases hydropower produced on the Fox River near Dayton.