ST. PAULS — A second generator will be added at the Robeson County Landfill to expand the county’s landfill gas mitigation project.
According to U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, a Democrat from Lumberton, Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation has recently been awarded a total of $940,000 in federal funds to help finance the energy project that will generate significant revenue for the county each year. This includes a $640,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, a program that provides zero-interest loans and grants for projects that create and retain employment in rural areas.
“Safe landfill disposal is critical to our families, our communities, and our businesses,” McIntyre said in a statement. “This strong federal investment will help maintain a healthy environment and create economic opportunity right here at home.”
Steve Edge, Robeson County’s director of Solid Waste, said that the generator the county will purchase is like the one that has been used in a similar system operating at the landfill since Jan. 13, 2012. He said the bid should be awarded at the next Public Works Committee meeting that will be held later this month.
“Once the bid is awarded it will take about six to eight months to receive the generator,” Edge said. “It will take a while to get because the generator is built based on what we want.”
Edge said that based on the similar system already in operation at the landfill, the new generator will produce about $500,000 worth of electricity a year. It also will generate another $50,000 in renewable energy credits, he said.
According to Edge, the system harnesses the methane gas that comes off of the landfill, treats it, and then uses the gas to operate the generator to produce electricity that can be sold to power companies.
“This (current methane gas mitigation system) has been a good program for us,” Edge said. “The new one is identical to the system that is now in place. This addition to our current system should be a successful program for us.”