Adding a new dimension to its popularity, the Houston County is going to become one of the first one to consume the garbage from its public landfill to produce electricity, as a result of a deal signed in December between the county and Flint Energies.
The methane gas, produced due to the natural decomposition of garbage underground, is currently being “flared,” or burned off, but soon it will become a source of energy and earn income for the county as well.
The gas will be bought by Flint, which is an electric co-op. It will then use the gas to make electricity through an adjacent generating plant on county land.
According to Jimmy Autry, Flint’s senior vice president of community relations, Flint has had a contract with North Carolina-based PowerSecure International and the Georgia Transmission Corp. for different aspects of building and operating the plant and substation. He said that the generators have been ordered, and the company should begin power production this year.
Landfill methane is said to be a “green” power source as it utilizes a waste product and reduces air pollution by replacing electricity generated by burning fossil fuels.
It is expected that the new substation will produce 22.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year, which will be enough to power the equivalent of about 1,400 homes.