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MLIVE: 100 years of power? Landfill gas-to-energy station in Watervliet called a great source of renewable energy

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Watervliet, MI, August 15, 2013 | Lynn Turner / Nick Culp (269-385-0039 / 202-225-3761) | comments
By Al Jones

Calling it is a great source of renewable energy that may be viable here for another 100 years, business leaders and area legislators dedicated the 6-month-old Orchard Hill Generation Station on Thursday.

The station is a $6 million, landfill gas-to-energy plant in Watervliet Township that captures methane gas from the 283–acre Orchard Hill Landfill and converts it into electric power.

It uses a powerful compressor and an underground pipe system to suck the methane to the station at 3625 Hennessy Road, from gas wells in the massive landfill on the opposite side of the road.

The gas powers two, huge, 20-cylinder Caterpillar engines that can each generate 1.6 megawatts of power. The resulting 3.2 megawatts is enough to power about 2,000 households per day, say those involved.

“If America is going to be energy independent before the end of the decade, we have to use all of our strengths,” said U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph.

Using landfill gases to develop power is part of a “using all-of-the-above” strategy he said he sees for harvesting wind power, solar power and other renewable energy sources. That is something that could continue for another 100 years in Watervliet, said Upton, who is chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was among officials involved in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the station.

Read the full article online HERE.
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