Murray residents to receive renewable energy from trash

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SOUTH JORDAN -- Residents of Murray City will soon be getting their power now that one of the largest renewable energy projects in Utah is up and running.

A new electric generating station at the Trans-Jordan Landfill in South Jordan will supply green energy to thousands of homes and businesses in Murray. The generator will convert methane gas into power.

In the fall of 2007 ground was broken for this landfill gas-to-electricity project. The development of the Granger Electric South Jordan Generating Station is now complete, with a generating capacity of 4.5 megawatts of electricity for Murray City in the south Salt Lake Valley. The project is a green power partnership with Trans-Jordan Cities and Murray City Power.

Murray City Power will manage all their facilities and operations for the receipt of power. The electricity will be transmitted via Rocky Mountain Power's utility grid through a Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems agreement. Granger will manage the same on their end for the purpose of generating power. Trans-Jordan is responsible for the landfill gas collection system.

The annual reduction of greenhouse gases attributable to this project is approximately the same as the annual greenhouse gas emission from more than 37,500 passenger vehicles, the carbon dioxide emissions from nearly 477,000 barrels of oil consumed, or the carbon sequestered by more than 46,500 acres of pine or fir forests. In addition, annual energy savings equate to powering nearly 3,000 average homes in the Murray City Power service area.

"As methane produced naturally by landfills is a greenhouse gas, the U.S. EPA has instituted standards for landfills which require eventual construction of a gas collection and control system. Trans-Jordan will not be subject to this rule for at least another six to ten years. In an effort to lead by example, we made a decision to install and implement our landfill gas collection of our own volition and not wait until it was mandated by the EPA. This has allowed for a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the ability to utilize this energy value in benefiting the residents of Murray City. We are proud to be a part of this partnership," said General Manager of Trans-Jordan Cities Dwayne Woolley.

Renewable energy is produced from landfill gases at the Granger Generating Station. The naturally occurring gas in landfills, comprised of about 50 percent methane, is captured through a perforated well pipe and pipe gathering system. The gas is pulled from the landfill into the generating station, processed, and used as a fuel source for engine generator sets. The engine generators create electricity, which is distributed to the utility grid.

The project leaders hailed the achievement as a significant stride toward goals set by Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. for Utah to lead the charge in energy efficiency, renewable and alternative energy development and new innovative technologies.

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