Landfill Gas Project
-a unique renewable energy project created through a partnership of The University of Iowa, City of Iowa City and MidAmerican Energy Company
What is the Landfill Gas Project?
The University of Iowa, the City of Iowa City, and MidAmerican Energy Company have been working as partners to facilitate the creation of a unique renewable energy project. This collaborative project could transport landfill gas from the City of Iowa City landfill to the University of Iowa/Oakdale Research Park via an underground pipeline that would be owned, maintained and operated by MidAmerican Energy Company. Once the landfill gas arrived at the UI's Oakdale Renewable Energy Plant, the landfill gas could be combusted in an engine and used to produce electric power and heat for the UI/Oakdale Research Park campus.
How is landfill gas used to produce energy?
Landfill gas is produced when municipal solid waste decays in the landfill. Currently, the gas at the Iowa City landfill is burned in a flare as required by its operating permit. This process converts the methane into carbon dioxide which significantly lowers the impact of green house gas emissions from the landfill. The Oakdale Renewable Energy Plant could burn the landfill gas in an engine to produce power and convert the methane gas to carbon dioxide.
What is the advantage of using landfill gas for energy?
The landfill gas could produce renewable electric power at a lower cost, compared to purchasing power from the grid, and the recycled heat from the generators could provide district heating to buildings thereby reducing the reliance on the more expensive fossil fuel natural gas.
What percentage of the UI /Oakdale Research Park energy would be supplied by the landfill gas?
The plan provides that over 90% of the electric power used on the UI/Oakdale Research Park campus could be generated with the landfill gas project.
How long will the pipeline be?
About six miles.
What is the Oakdale Renewable Energy Plant project?
The UI/Oakdale Research Park utility system underwent modernization into a state-of-the-art district energy system in order to provide a cost-effective, reliable and renewable energy source in response to increased growth on that campus. Part of that modernization is the creation of a generation facility that is able to burn landfill gas to produce electric power and recycle heat from the engine generators. More information on the Oakdale Renewable Energy Plant.
How were the utility needs of the UI/Oakdale Research Park previously met?
The UI/Oakdale Research Park has traditionally been served by a natural gas (fossil fuel) fired boiler plant that supplies steam for building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), and by purchased electric power from the grid (mostly generated from coal).
For more information, contact: Ben Fish, Assistant Director, Utilities & Energy Management.