SECCRA Receives $500,000 Grant for Green Power

CHATHAM, JUNE 24, 2005.  The Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority (SECCRA) will receive $500,000 in funding from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA).  Senators Dominic Pileggi and Bob Thompson, and Representatives Chris Ross and Art Hershey assisted with the application to PEDA and helped secure these funds. 

SECCRA will develop a Landfill Gas to Energy Project at the SECCRA Community Landfill. The project will consist of one 870kw engine/generator set using landfill gas as fuel to generate electricity.  The renewable energy generated from this project commonly known as green power will be able to power 500 homes.  Bill Stullken, General Manager of SECCRA said, “This replaces the equivalent of over 1,200 tons per year of coal or other fossil fuel which would otherwise be needed to produce this electricity.”

The grant funding will be used to reduce the capital cost of implementing the project.  The project otherwise has a self sustaining cash flow and will actually make money during in future years offsetting some SECCRA’s long term landfill care costs. 

Landfill gas contains methane, a fuel commercially sold as natural gas.  Landfill gas is generated from the decomposition of waste.  It is collected by a vacuum system at SECCRA.  All landfills must burn the methane gas in a controlled fashion  to destroy it for environmental protection. SECCRA will install its generator system to make electricity during this destruction process.  It is important to note that no waste will be burned – only the gas which will be vacuumed out of the landfill.

The project meets or exceeds all applicable emission standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP).

Stullken said, “There are substantial environmental and local benefits that will be gained from the project, including: reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, reduction of dependence on nonrenewable resources, and promotes local energy resources.” The capital cost of the project is $2,100,000. SECCRA will provide $1,600,000 of this amount.   The project in-service date is February 2006 after construction and interconnection to the local electric utility, PECO Energy.  This project will generate one full-time job at SECCRA and 100 temporary jobs during construction.

PEDA was established in 1982 to promote applied energy research, provide financial incentives for the deployment of clean alternative energy projects and promote investment in Pennsylvania’s energy sector. Gov. Ed Rendell revitalized PEDA as part of his strategy to build a clean, indigenous, diversified energy industry in the state.  On behalf of the citizens of southern Chester County, SECCRA appreciates the support provided by PEDA in its endeavors to protect the environment. 

Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority (SECCRA) is a municipal authority formed in 1968 to provide a regional management approach to municipal solid waste and recycling problems in southern Chester County.  Ninety-five thousand people reside in SECCRA’s service area and will benefit from this project.