JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County landfill's gas-to-electricity project has been a revenue-producing success, averaging $20,000 per month and realizing more than $135,000 in the first four months of the year, officials say.
"That's just about where we projected we would be, moving forward for the whole year," Solid Waste Department Director Jeffrey Bouchard told the Board of Supervisors' Environmental Resources Committee last week.
The project was expected to produce revenue, eventually providing about $700,000 to the county for three years.
The $6.5 million gas-to-electric project at the Mud Road landfill in the town of Johnstown converts the landfill's methane gas to electricity. The project began in June 2010 and the county started receiving revenue in November.
Bouchard said that after about a year in operation, the county has begun to average about $20,000 per month for 2011. For the first fourth months of the year, the county received $135,720. The revenue goes toward the county Department of Solid Waste operation.
Environmental Capital of New York City works with the county to identify carbon credits sold on the market, providing revenue for the county.
Innovative Energy of Oakfield, Genesee County, worked with the county to bring the gas-to-electricity project online.
The gas-to-electric building's two giant generators produce between 1.6 and 3.2 megawatts of power at any given time - enough energy to power an average of 1,800 homes for a year.
Bouchard said the project may require smaller engines than originally thought.
Bouchard said his department staff continues to monitor and adjust the gas system, which includes daily inspection and calibration of gas wells.
"We're actually in the process of developing some additional gas wells," he said.
Bouchard said staff will develop new wells with a well driller purchased through the federal Government Surplus Program. He said the staff electrician also has been trained in the operations of the plant per the agreement with Innovative Energy.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.