BCWS Solid Waste Management Facility’s Green Energy Projects
In January of 1999, Berkeley County Water & Sanitation started pursing green energy projects after the completion of its Sub-Title D MSW Landfill. During this time, the landfill’s capability to produce methane gas attracted the attention of several green energy developers. However, it wasn’t until it reached its full methane producing capacity that BCWS released its first RFQ for qualifying projects.
Landfill Gas to Energy:
In the spring of 2009, BCWS signed an agreement with SCS Engineers to do a design build of the LFG well field which included 52 LFG wells on the Sub-Title D Landfill, 21 LFG wells on the Closed Vertical Landfill, (total of 75 LFG wells), and the flare/blower station. This system was designed to handle up to 2,500 Standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM) of LFG of which we were able to produce around 300 SCFM allowing for expansion over the next 10 years. In March, 2012, BCWS added and additional 16 new LFG wells and 3 re-drilled LFG wells, that allowed for approximately 400 SCFM. BCWS has future plans to cap a portion of cells 1-4 of the Sub-Title D Landfill and it is expected that will add an additional 75 SCFM of LFG.
In January of 2010, Santee Cooper started the construction of their electrical generator facility. The project started with 2 CAT generators capable of producing 2 megawatts of power each. They also allowed for expansion which would include up to 6, 2 megawatt generators.
Blue Source was selected through BCWS’ RFP process to market and verify carbon credits. This is somewhat different than most Landfill Gas to Energy projects in that BCWS decided to keep the carbon credits rather than allow the end user of the LFG to collect them. Blue Source is responsible for verification of BCWS’ carbon credits and has registered our system with Climate Action Reserve (CAR).
CAR is a protocol standard that ensures carbon credits meet the necessary qualifications to be sold to companies who wish to become carbon neutral. Google was the first company to purchase these credits with a through a 4 year agreement with BCWS.
Algae to Energy – This project will take the leachate and effluent from our landfill and wastewater treatment facility and use it in an algae to energy facility. Both leachate and effluent are great sources of the nutrients needed to promote algae growth. The algae will then be used to produce animal feed or an aviation fuel additive.
The project will possibly begin with a pilot program consisting of five acres and will eventually expand to approximately 150 acres. The construction of a mass burner capable of producing CO2, a gas needed for this project, is also a viable option. The initial plan is for operations to begin using the CO2 from Santee Cooper’s electrical generators.