Smith's Creek, Mich., Dec. 6, 2011 — DTE Biomass Energy began operating a 3.2-megawatt (MW) landfill gas-to-energy facility at the Smith's Creek Landfill in Kimball Township.
The electricity is produced at a facility operated by Blue Water Renewables Inc., a subsidiary of DTE Biomass Energy.
The Smith's Creek Landfill, owned and operated by St. Clair County, operates one of the first commercial-scale septage injection landfill gas systems in the United States, whereby material extracted from septic tanks is applied to the landfill to speed the decomposition of organic waste. This process not only increases the life of the landfill, but also increases the rate of landfill gas generation used to fuel electricity production.
About 75 construction jobs were created for the facility, which will produce enough electricity to power about 3,000 homes.
The Smiths Creek Landfill project also incorporates an education center to allow schools and community groups to learn about environmentally responsible means of waste disposal, as well as using renewable landfill gas to power electricity generation.
"This project is an excellent example of how we have been able to convert harmful greenhouse gases into renewable energy and provide the community with an educational opportunity," said Mark Cousino, DTE Biomass Energy president. "We're looking forward to a long partnership with St. Clair County."
Ann Arbor, Mich.-based DTE Biomass Energy, a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), has built and operates more than 25 facilities across the United States that convert landfill gas, or methane, emitted from decomposing landfill refuse into energy such as electricity and steam.