Flathead Electric Cooperative Landfill Gas-To-Energy-Project
3Degrees managed project
The Flathead County Landfill, located in Northwest Montana, roughly 30 miles outside of Glacier National Park, is turning a harmful landfill byproduct into energy. In 2009 the landfill collaborated with the Flathead Electric Cooperative to build the first methane gas-to-energy project in the state. This project, previously used a flare to burn the emitted methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25x more potent that carbon dioxide. With this upgrade, the facility now uses a vacuum system to extract the methane from the waste within the landfill.
The system captures and filters the gas to remove liquid and particulates, then burns it in a 20-cylinder engine. Burning methane drives the 1.6 MW electric generator, which is connected directly to Flathead Electric’s distribution system. The utility is able to use the electricity generated from this project to service its customers – roughly 1,600 households.
The project has an estimated 15-year lifespan. Currently, the landfill only uses a portion of the 150 acres permitted for waste acceptance. With room to expand, facility managers may add wells and a second generator gas flow increases. 3Degrees manages the monitoring, reporting, and verification of this project. As part of the project management and services agreement, 3Degrees also has exclusive ownership of the project’s carbon offset credits.
The Flathead Electric Cooperative Landfill Gas-To-Energy Project drastically reduces local greenhouse gas emissions.
A reduction in indoor air pollution from the switch has improved working conditions for factory employees.
The Flathead Valley community benefited from the construction and continued operations and maintenance jobs related to the project.
Link to a virtual tour of the Gas-To-Energy project.