10/28/11 — Opening planned for plant

View Archive

Opening planned for plant

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 28, 2011 1:46 PM

DUDLEY -- A dedication ceremony will be held Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Wayne County landfill to celebrate the successful launch of a renewable energy facility that will use the landfill gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of organic matter to generate electricity.

The plant will also generate close to $200,000 annually in revenues for the county for rights to the gas and the power, which will be sold to Progress Energy.

The ceremony, hosted by the county and Methane Power Inc., will get under way at 11 a.m. at the landfill, 460 S. Landfill Road.

Scheduled speakers include Geoffrey Broomhead, president, Methane Power Inc., Wayne County Manager Lee Smith and Bob McCall, vice president, Eastern Region, Progress Energy Carolinas.

North Carolina-based Methane Power designed and installed and will now operate and maintain the project that will generate up to three megawatts of electricity. The company is leasing one-half acre from the county at a cost of $1,200 annually for the plant.

It will produce up to 25,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, which is equivalent to the annual energy demand of about 1,800 average residential customers. This project was made possible through the collaborative efforts of Wayne County, Progress Energy and Methane Power Inc.

Construction began in September 2010 on the $10 million facility, which also will relieve the county of expenses associated with the installation and maintenance of the wells and piping required to capture the gas.

The county had been facing a state mandate for new wells and piping in the landfill. Methane Power has assumed those costs, which could total as much as $600,000.