SECCRA Power produces electricity from landfill gas

State, federal, and local officials helped officially commission “SECCRA Power,” an electricity-generating station at the Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority (SECCRA) that uses what was once a waste byproduct to produce “green energy.”

As trash degrades, it gives off what we call landfill gas.  Landfill gas is made up of methane and carbon dioxide and has a strong odor.  We have drilled gas extraction wells deep into the trash and connected large vacuum pumps to suck the gas out of the landfill.  Once removed, the gas is directed to one of two very large combustion generators to make electricity.

Each generator has an engine that is not unlike the one in an automobile, except it is supersized and set up to run on landfill gas.  Together, the generators make 2.4 Megawatts of electricity.  That is enough electricity to power 1,400 homes without using any fossil fuels!  Once burned in our generators, the odor goes away and the the exhaust has minimal emissions.

The environmental benefits of SECCRA Power can be expressed in different ways.  Our Project has the same effect as reducing the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 20,000 passenger vehicles.  It also reduces the carbon dioxide emissions from burning 552 railcars’ worth of coal or from 11.4 million gallons of gasoline. 

This project was so impressive that the United States Environmental Protection Agency recognized SECCRA Power as its 2007 Project of the Year.

Clean, renewable power from a resource in our own backyard.

                             SECCRA Power: your trash is our gas.