Methane gas collected at the Glasgow Regional Landfill could be used to produce electricity as early as the fall of 2014, according to a project report given by Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman Monday during the Glasgow City Council’s finance committee meeting.
“It’s started to pick up pace,” she said.
The city of Glasgow is partnering with Farmer’s Rural Electric Cooperative on the project, which calls for the construction of an electrical power generation plant at the landfill, which will turn methane gas, a byproduct of decaying trash, into electricity.
The plant will be constructed, owned and operated by East Kentucky Power.
East Kentucky Power is owned by 16 cooperatives, including FRECC, which will purchase the electricity produced at the landfill’s plant.
The plant will be fitted with a 1 megawatt generator, which will supply electricity to about 450 homes based on average usage, according to an October Glasgow Daily Times’ article.
“We did, on recommendation of our engineering firm, which is Cornerstone, which specializes in this kind of project, we did an RFQ [request for quotation] in December for qualifications for people who would be approved to bid on the project,” Trautman said.
Five RFQs from across the country were submitted and are being assessed by Cornerstone [Engineering of Louisville] to see if they have the experience to do the project, she said.
“We anticipate in mid-January we will be putting out bids for the actual construction,” she said.
The estimated cost of the project is around $1.2 million, Trautman said.
The city applied for an energy efficiency grant through the Kentucky Division of Energy to help with project costs.
“We have not received the official letter, but we did get an e-mail stating our grant was approved for $100,000,” she said.
The grant funds will be deposited in the city’s landfill fund to help cover the city’s portion of the project.
“So that is really good news,” Trautman said. “They told us that once we get under construction, it will move very quickly.”
While the methane gas project is under construction, the city will also be building a new garbage storage cell at the landfill. The new cell will accommodate the methane gas collection system, according to an April Glasgow Daily Times’ story.
Nesbitt Engineering of Lexington will be overseeing the construction of the new garbage storage cell, while Cornerstone will be handling the installation of the methane recovery portion of the project.
“We are scheduled for the end of January … to meet and sign the loan documents. We have that ready to go,” Trautman said.
FRECC obtained a $1 million interest free loan through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan Program, which will cover about 80 percent of the anticipated project cost for the methane collection system. FRECC will re-loan the money to the city for project. The loan can be paid over a 10-year period.
The remaining amount of the project cost will be paid through the city’s sanitation landfill fund.
The loan documents are being reviewed by city attorney Ben Rogers and by Woodford Gardner, attorney for FRECC, she said.
If the bid process goes as scheduled, the city will be recovering methane from the landfill by July.
“Then we will have to vent it for a while, flame it off, to get a test load on what’s coming in,” Trautman said. “In the mean time, we will be signing the agreement with Farmer’s Rural Electric to designate a platform area out there for a pad.”
The plant to house the generator will be constructed while the methane is being vented, she said.
“By fall we will be running,” Trautman said.
A feasibility study was conducted in February 2012 at a cost of $26,000 to the city to identify the amount of methane available, the quality of the methane and guidelines for a collection system.
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