News & Events

Renewco Turns Waste into Energy with First-of-its-Kind Renewable Energy Project in Eastern Tennessee

ATLANTA / September 28, 2011

New Methane Recovery Facility Converts Landfill Emissions into Pipeline-Quality Natural Gas, Reducing Local Pollution and Greenhouse Gasses

Renewco, LLC, a joint venture between AGL Resources (NYSE: AGL) and Keystone Renewable Energy, today dedicated a new renewable energy facility at the Meadow Branch Landfill in McMinn County Tenn., near Athens. This facility captures the gas produced by the decomposition of solid waste in the landfill, and converts it to pipeline-quality renewable gas that can be used to displace the need for conventional fossil fuels.

The Renewco-Meadow Branch Methane Recovery Facility - the first of its kind in Eastern Tennessee – is also expected to bring measurable benefits to the local community, including significant capital investment, a reduction of local pollution and greenhouse gasses, and the creation of much-needed green-energy jobs.

"This project truly illustrates the triple bottom line where success is measured not only by profits, but also by the environmental and societal benefits," said Ira Pearl, Chief Executive Officer, Renewco. "It's a rare opportunity to turn waste into a potential revenue stream while creating green jobs and reducing impacts to the environment, but that is exactly what we expect to accomplish at the Renewco-Meadow Branch facility."

At any municipal solid waste landfill, as the waste decays, methane and carbon dioxide gasses are formed. Those gasses either go directly to the environment or, at many landfills, the gas is captured and flared, if required by environmental regulations. Flared or unflared, the unusable gas can create greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to local pollution.

The Renewco-Meadow Branch Methane Recovery Facility helps solve this problem by both capturing the gaseous emissions that come from the landfill so they don't enter the environment, and converting the gas into renewable pipeline-quality fuel, so it is not needlessly flared.

The project began over two years ago with a thorough analysis of the landfill characteristics to determine the viability of the project. Once the project was determined to be suitable, gas wells and a gas collection system were installed on the landfill site.

A $12.5 million processing plant was constructed on the landfill property to produce renewable, environmentally friendly gas that meets the same specifications as pipeline-quality natural gas. The process involves removing water and moisture from the gas, then using a combination of pressure swing absorption – a technology used to separate the different gasses from a mixture of gasses under pressure – and membrane separation – the use of thin barriers to mechanically separate the renewable gas from the other unusable gasses. Unusable gasses are destroyed in a high-temperature thermal oxidizer.

The final step is pressurizing the renewable gas for transportation to a connection point with an interstate pipeline system. At the Meadow Branch facility, nine miles of 4-inch steel pipe were constructed to connect the renewable gas to Spectra Energy's East Tennessee Pipeline near Riceville, Tenn.

Initially, the Renewco-Meadow Branch Methane Recovery Facility is expected to process and transport approximately 1,200 million BTU of gas per day, which is expected to grow to 3,000 million BTU over the 20-year life of the project.

Four permanent green jobs were created for plant operation, while at least 40 temporary jobs were created during the construction of the plant.

About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: AGL), an Atlanta-based energy services company, serves approximately 2.3 million customers in six states. The company also owns Houston-based Sequent Energy Management, an asset manager serving natural gas wholesale customers throughout North America. As an 85-percent owner in the SouthStar partnership, AGL Resources markets natural gas to consumers in Georgia under the Georgia Natural Gas brand. The company also owns and operates two high-deliverability natural gas storage facilities: Jefferson Island Storage & Hub near the Henry Hub in Louisiana and Golden Triangle Storage in Texas. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.

About Keystone Renewable Energy
Keystone Renewable Energy brings a lifetime of entrepreneurship in scientific, engineering, and construction businesses to successfully work in the renewable energy space. Keystone's history dates back over 30 years and is deeply rooted in the environmental and solid waste management consulting, remediation and construction businesses. Keystone concentrates its efforts on developing, designing, building and operating landfill gas to energy projects.

Media Contacts:

Tami Gerke
tgerke@aglresources.com
Office: 404-584-3873
Cell: 404-558-2307

Matthew Freeman
mfreeman@aglresources.com
Office: 404-584-3846
Cell: 404-788-1024

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