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The BMW Manufacturing plant in
The operation — in cooperation with the
Waste Management, which has gas-to-energy projects in more than 20 states, recently announced that it intends to create about 60 additional renewable energy facilities within five years — including two more in
The two new plants will be located at landfills in
The BMW project and Waste Management’s gas-to-energy plant in
The methane gas from the
BMW officials have said the methane used as a fuel saves the company at least $1 million a year. It also reduces emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, by about 60,000 tons annually.
“This national initiative is a major step in Waste Management’s ongoing efforts to implement sustainable business practices across the company,” Paul Pabor, vice president of renewable energy, said at an environmental conference in
Randall Essick, senior business development manager for Waste Management of South Carolina, said the company’s efforts would help make the state more energy independent.
Essick said the Waste Management landfill site in
The company is talking with Santee Cooper about providing the utility with landfill gas-generated electricity from its
Projects such as these “provide us an opportunity to utilize something that was put into the air in the past,” he said.
Waste Management is the nation’s largest landfill operator with 281 landfills.
Landfill gas is produced when microorganisms break down organic material in a landfill. It is composed of between 50 percent to 60 percent methane gas and the remainder is carbon dioxide.
Usually, these gases are burned off. However, the landfill gas plants collect the methane and use it to fuel engines or turbines generating electricity, thereby creating a new revenue stream for the landfill.