Gas to Energy Project

"Congratulations to the Town of Erie, Waste Connections and Landfill Energy Systems for this wonderful new plant. I gotta say, I am a former city counselor in Boulder and I live there still – we're a little jealous. This is a very cool thing in a sustainable energy front."

 - Congressman Polis' Office: Andy Schultheiss, District Director

"On behalf of Senator Bennet, I want to congratulate you for bringing this project to completion. I want to say how impressive the scope of this project is. It's going to provide enough power for half of Erie. And I think that is very impressive. Kudos to the Town of Erie...."

 - Senator Bennet's Office: James Thompson, Regional Director

What: Landfill Gas to Energy Facility and Landfill Gas Collection system

Why: The purpose of this project is to utilize methane that is produced by decomposing waste materials within the landfills to produce renewable energy – in this case, renewable electricity.

Where: Front Range Landfill and Denver Regional Landfills – Erie, Colorado

Who: Waste Connections, Inc.; Landfill Energy Systems; United Power and the Town of Erie

When: Renewable electric generation commenced in the fall of 2011.

Gas to Energy Project Summary

  • The project captures methane from three different landfills; the Denver Regional North Landfill, Denver Regional South Landfill and the Front Range Landfill.
  • The project provides a renewable energy source, and prevent the equivalent of approximately 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from reaching the atmosphere each year through avoiding the use of additional fossil fuels.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the CO2 emission reductions from the project are equivalent to planting 5,189 acres of trees or removing about 5,218 cars off the roads each year.
  • The project produces enough electricity to supply approximately 3,300 local homes which is the equivalent of over 40% of existing homes in Erie.
  • Economic Development: 3 to 4 local jobs created at the facility.
  • Gas Utilization: Captured gas will generate up to 4.8 Megawatts (MW) of electrical capacity.

How the Landfill Gas to Energy Facility Works

  • Landfill methane is naturally occurring as a by-product from the decomposition of solid waste.
  • Methane from the landfill is collected through a series of vertical and horizontal extraction wells.
  • Landfill methane is normally consumed (incinerated) in a flare rather than being discharged to the atmosphere. Collection and incineration provides odor control while exceeding all air quality control standards.
  • The landfill gas-to-energy project provides an alternative to flaring and will utilize the gas to produce renewable energy – in this case renewable electricity.
  • The generating plant operates 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. The existing flare will remain in place to consume any excess methane that is not used by the
    electric generators.
  • There are currently 82 active gas extraction wells at Denver Regional Landfill
    landfill. These wells collect approximately 1200 cubic feet per minute of landfill gas, enough gas to power two 1,600 kW generators.