Green Power Choice
Escambia River Electric Cooperative joins other co-ops in bringing diverse blend of power to members announcing the launch of their new Green Power Choice program, which brings clean, green power to consumers in Alabama and northwest Florida.
Through a partnership between Escambia River Electric Cooperative, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, Inc. and Waste Management, methane gas from Springhill Regional Landfill (near Campbellton , Fla.) is extracted and burned to generate 4.8 megawatts of green energy.
The electricity produced is then added to generation resources already being used to generate power for cooperative customers within Escambia River Electric Cooperative’s service territory.
“The addition of green power to our generating mix further diversifies our resources to ensure a reliable energy supply for our members,” says Clay Campbell, Escambia River Electric Cooperative general manager. “By using renewable resources like methane gas from landfills, we help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and ensure a reliable energy supply for the future.”
According to Waste Management, approximately five pounds of solid waste is generated every day for each person in the United States . As the waste decomposes, it emits methane gas, which is then compressed, dried and filtered before being sent through turbines to generate electricity.
The landfill gas-to-energy facility at Springhill Regional Landfill will produce enough energy to power approximately 4,000 homes.
“Each kilowatt-hour of energy from this facility will offset a kilowatt-hour of fossil fuel generation,” says Campbell . “The use of renewable energy not only improves the availability of future fossil fuel supply, but also provides a more reliable power supply and a small hedge against increasing coal and natural gas prices.”
Green Power Choice gives Escambia River Electric Cooperative’s members the option to purchase blocks of power generated from methane gas – an environmentally friendly method of generation. Each block costs $2 extra on members’ monthly power bills and represents 100 kilowatt-hours. Members may purchase as many blocks as they wish. The minimum participation period is one year.
Purchasing just two blocks of green power per month for one year is the equivalent of recycling 480 pounds of aluminum (15,322 cans) or recycling 1,766 pounds of newspaper.
Although the energy produced at Springhill Regional Landfill is blended with electricity generated using other fuel sources, member support of the program ensures the progression of this technology.
“Even though renewable resources like methane gas are free, the technology required to extract it and use it for power generation are more expensive than traditional power generation methods,” says Campbell. “Our members’ support of Green Power Choice helps to further develop renewable resources to be used as energy sources.”
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