From Trash to Treasure: Harnessing Biomass Energy.
Municipalities looking for a renewable energy source can simply look to their local landfill. First, we won’t be running out of trash anytime soon. Second, the organic waste in landfills can generate a tremendous amount of methane gas. And that gas must be dealt with somehow. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, methane gas has a global warming potential 25 times greater than carbon dioxide.
Converting this gas to energy has both economic and environmental benefits. This has fueled a growing trend of cooperation and partnership between landfill operators and energy utilities.
Concord Energy Renewable Gas to Energy Plant
Concord Energy Renewable Gas to Energy Plant is a 11.5-megawatt renewable energy facility at Republic Services’ CMS landfill in Concord, North Carolina. The Concord Energy facility utilizes landfill gas to fuel two Solar Taurus turbines, each capable of generating over 5.5 megawatts, and combined with the associated landfill gas conditioning and compression equipment, meet the total electrical energy needs of nearly 7,700 North Carolina residences.
Affinity Energy’s continued responsiveness and clear communication make our ongoing relationship extremely valuable.
– Dana Gregory, Fortistar
The challenge for many of these waste-to-energy facilities is to design and operate onsite power plants for maximum ease and efficiency.
That’s precisely what Affinity Energy’s customer, Concord Energy, faced. Their system was extremely complex with 22 different devices made by a dozen different manufacturers. They had two gas turbine generators, gas compressors and blowers, air coolers, glycol chillers, and a blow-off flare, all of which output critical data in totally separate packages that had to be monitored. Concord Energy hired Affinity Energy to design and implement waste to energy control systems tying everything together, so operators could monitor plant operations more easily.
We developed a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system based on programmable logic controls (PLC). This complex device integration offered advanced visualization capabilities, including a central location display and consolidated reporting. And we were able to complete the project in just one month.
Concord Energy now has the ability to monitor the ongoing performance of their turbines, so adjustments can be made as needed. The waste to energy control systems also analyze components to determine when preventative maintenance should be performed, and generators can be turned on and off by onsite operators or even remotely.