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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Project Profile

Modern Landfill and H2Gro Landfill Gas Energy

Model City, New York
End User(s):
H2Gro Greenhouses, Model City Energy
Greenhouse, Utility
Modern Landfill
Landfill Size:
11.3 million tons waste-in-place (2004)
Project Type:
Combined Heat and Power (cogeneration)
Project Size:
12 megawatts (MW)
$800,000/year in fuel
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 11,800 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 10,500 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 128,200 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 7,100 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0150 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Caterpillar, Horizon LFG, Innovative Energy Systems, Republic Services
Last Updated:

Photo of tomatoes growing in one of H2Gro’s greenhouses.

No matter how you slice it, landfill gas saves energy costs for H2Gro. After a pilot project proved viable, H2Gro Greenhouses expanded its greenhouse acreage by 15 fold. Engine heat is captured to heat greenhouses where more than 10,000 pounds of red, juicy, hot-house tomatoes are produced every day. Due to low heating costs, the greenhouse operates year-round.

A computer-controlled climate ensures excellent growing conditions for the hydroponic tomatoes. Recirculated water (2,500 gallons) is heated by a jacket heat exchanger, then an exhaust heat exchanger, reaching 220 degrees Fahrenheit and providing 31 million Btu of heat per hour. In addition, the engine-generator sets produce enough electricity to power the greenhouses, with excess power sold to the grid.

The project's highlights include the following:

  • Original 2001 project had seven Caterpillar G3516 engine-generator sets; expansion in 2006 added four Caterpillar 3520 engines
  • 2005 Environmental Excellence Award from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • SWANA 2005 Landfill Gas Usage Award from Solid Waste Association of North America

The project provides 40 local, year-round jobs and produces 3.5 million pounds of tomatoes annually using hydroponic growing. Hydroponic growing entails no soil but uses a neutral growing medium to which nutrients are added.

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