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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

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Project Profile

Northern Tier Green Power

LMOP Award Winner  Self Developed (Absence of third party developer)
Burlington, Pennsylvania
End User(s):
PenElec, Northern Tier Greens
Utility, Greenhouse
Northern Tier Landfill #2
Landfill Size:
1.99 million tons waste-in-place (2006)
Project Type:
Combined Heat and Power (cogeneration) (one Caterpillar 3520 engine)
Project Size:
1.6 megawatts (MW) and 2.4 million British thermal units per hour (MMBtu/hr)
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 14,700 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 13,200 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 160,500 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 940 homes and heating 260 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0188 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Caterpillar, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP), PPL Corporation
Last Updated:

Photo of blower and flare station at Northern Tier Landfill #2 in Pennsylvania.

The Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority (NTSWA) knew where the trash was, they just needed to find the treasure. NTSWA found it when it teamed with PPL Corporation—LMOP's 2000 Energy Partner of the Year—and a local supplier of Caterpillar engines. Together, the three organizations took an innovative two-fold approach to navigate the tight economics.

Deregulation drove wholesale electricity prices so far down that developers took the road not taken. Instead of selling wholesale electricity, PPL and Northern Tier found better pricing by going directly to market. Northern Tier estimates this approach can add at least a half penny per kilowatt-hour, which translates into thousands of dollars per year when compared to the wholesale prices at which it was initially offered.

The project's highlights include the following:

  • Originally, 800-kilowatt (kW) Caterpillar generator and heat reclamation system. Replaced by a 1,600-KW engine in 2009.
  • Sells power generated at market-based, real-time rates.
  • Recovers heat from the generator as a secondary benefit.

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