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Project Profile

Prince George's County Correctional Facility End-Use Project

  Self Developed (Absence of third party developer)

Upper Marlboro, Maryland
End User(s):
Prince George's County Correctional Facility, Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO)
County, Utility
Brown Station Road Landfill
Landfill Size:
8.9 million tons waste-in-place (2001)
Project Type:
Boiler and Reciprocating Engine
Project Size:
925 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) and 2.55 megawatts (MW)
All electrical and steam needs are provided for free
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 5,200 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 4,600 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 56,300 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 1,500 homes and heating 3,100 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0066 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Curtis Engine & Equipment, Inc., PEPCO, Prince George's County, Waukesha Engine Dresser, Inc.
Last Updated:

In 1985, Prince George's County, Maryland began planning one of the earliest landfill gas (LFG)-fired electric generating facilities on the East Coast. The county needed reliable power for its correctional facility. After reading about the beneficial use of LFG, one county councilman proposed that the county look into using LFG from the nearby Brown Station Road Landfill to generate electricity.

By 1987, the county had approved a project to generate electricity and operation began. Since then, three LFG-fired engines have provided the correctional facility with all its electrical needs and have operated with greater than 98 percent reliability since start-up. Additionally, two LFG-fired boilers provide steam for the facility.

The project's highlights include:

  • County paid for project without procuring loans or issuing bonds.
  • Correctional facility receives electricity for free. Landfill provides operation and maintenance of the engines through an operating contract with Curtis Engine.
  • LFG fuels a gas conditioning system that compresses, filters, and removes water.
  • A 2.5-mile pipeline connects the landfill to the correctional facility.
  • Two 350-HP fire-tube boilers firing LFG supply steam to the correctional facility and can co-fire natural gas.

Today, two engines generate 850 kilowatts (kW) each, which is more power than the correctional facility needs. The county typically sells additional electricity, approximately 800 kW, to Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) under a Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) contract. PEPCO buys electricity from the correctional facility project at the filed tariff rate, without green tags, generating approximately $8,500 per month in revenue to the landfill. In case of power loss from the LFG-fired engines, the correctional facility has a stand-by contract with PEPCO to supply electricity.

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