With $250,000 grant in hand, ‘SECCRA Power’ Phase II expected to be on line in mid-2008

LONDON GROVE TOWNSHIP, PA— Richard Cairns, chairman of the Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority (SECCRA), today said Phase II of “SECCRA Power” is expected to be up and running by the middle of next year.

Gov. Edward G. Rendell earlier this week announced the award of a $250,000 grant to SECCRA from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority(PEDA).

Approval of the grant means SECCRA can now go ahead with plans to add a second generator engine to its landfill gas-to-electricity operation.

“This latest grant will help keep SECCRA at the forefront of the green energy movement in the waste industry in Pennsylvania,” said Cairns. “In that PEDA is encouraging us to expand our capacity, the grant award testifies to the value of the operation we’ve already put in place.”

Since January 2007, SECCRA has been using gas from its landfill as a fuel to generate nearly 1 megawatt of electricity on a continuous basis, enough to power about 500 homes, and selling it to the PJM power grid. Landfill gas, mostly methane, is a byproduct of decomposing waste.

“By expanding the capacity of SECCRA Power,” Cairns said, “we are further reducing the potential emission of methane, a greenhouse gas, and creating additional revenue that helps hold down the cost of waste disposal for our member communities.”

SECCRA initially invested $3.2 million in its gas-to-electricity facility, including a $500,000 start-up grant from PEDA. Phase I included installation of a gas-collection system in the landfill, a generator engine that runs on landfill gas, a power line connection to the PJM grid, and an electronic monitoring system.

Phase II, which entails only the acquisition and installation of a second generator engine, will cost a total of approximately $750,000, including the $250,000 PEDA grant. The amount not covered by the grant will be funded by SECCRA.

The second generator engine will allow SECCRA to produce an additional 8.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and further reduce potential greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 8,800 cars from the road. The additional electricity generated from landfill gas will save the equivalent of 27,000 tons of coal per year.

SECCRA is a non-profit municipal authority with a publicly appointed board of directors that provides solid waste disposal and recycling for about 90,000 residents in 24 boroughs and townships in the southern third of Chester County.