Energy Efficiency, Equipment & Technology, North America

Landfill microturbines generate power at Antioch Community High School


Antioch, Ill., Nov. 7, 2003 — After months of planning, equipment installation, and start-up activities, RMT, Inc., an environmental engineering, consulting, and construction management firm, and the Antioch Community High School (ACHS) have completed a project to use landfill gas to generate electricity and heat for use by ACHS.

The system start-up ceremony is planned for Wednesday, November 12, at 1:00 p.m. at the HOD Landfill. Tours of the energy-generating system will be offered. This will be coordinated with the “USEPA ready for reuse certification” for the landfill.

The key players include RMT, Inc.; Waste Management, Inc.; Antioch Community High School; Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Unison Solutions; Com Ed; the USEPA, and the Village of Antioch.

The new system consists of a 360-kW, 12 microturbine system, that is powered by landfill gas, which is currently being collected and flared at the closed HOD Landfill. The energy recovered from the microturbines will be used to heat and power the 262,000-square-foot school building. The system will produce enough power to satisfy demand for the equivalent of 120 homes. Any additional electricity not used at the High School will be sold to Com Ed.

The project demonstrates how innovative partnerships and programs can take a liability and turn it into multiple benefits and a win-win situation for all involved. “We’re going to be able to recycle, save money for the taxpayers, and help with the environment,”says Bill Ahlers, business manager for Antioch Community High School District 117.
Additional benefits of the energy system include lower energy costs for the high school; use of waste heat at the high school; clean, complete combustion of waste gas; decreased emissions to the environment; and education opportunities in physics, chemistry, economics, and environmental management as a result of the on-campus, state-of-the art gas-to-energy system.

The completion of this project sets the high school on track to be the first in the country to use landfill gas for heat and electrical production. “The project is truly unique and will make the most of a valuable energy resource,” explains Mark Torresani, RMT’s project manager.

The overall cost of the project is estimated at $1.9 million. A grant application was completed and submitted to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (now Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity) in April 2002. ACHS was subsequently awarded a $550,000 grant from the state’s Renewable Energy Resources Program (RERP) to design and construct the facility. The school district will fund the rest by issuing a revenue bond.

RMT, Inc. is a 25-year-old global environmental management, engineering, and construction services firm that provides solutions for industrial clients around the world. Headquartered in Madison, WI, RMT has a 500-person staff located in 18 offices throughout the U.S. and offices in the UK and France. RMT is unit of Alliant Energy Integrated Services, a diversified energy and environmental engineering company, and a member of the Alliant Energy family of companies (NYSE: LNT). Additional information about RMT is available online at www.rmtinc.com.