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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

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Project Profile

Quarantine Road Landfill - Coast Guard Cogeneration Project

Curtis Bay, Maryland
End User(s):
U.S. Coast Guard - Curtis Bay Shipyard
Quarantine Road Landfill
Landfill Size:
10 million tons waste-in-place (2009)
Project Type:
Combined Heat and Power (cogeneration) (4 reciprocating engines with heat recovery) and Boiler
Project Size:
1.5 megawatts (MW)
$840,000 per year in natural gas and $1.675 million per year in electricity
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 1,500 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1,300 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 16,000 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 900 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0019 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Ameresco, DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy/Federal Energy Management Program, GE Energy - Jenbacher Gas Engines
Last Updated:

Photo of the four new engines at Curtis Bay Coast Guard Shipyard.

When the largest renewable energy project in U.S. Coast Guard history came on line, the Coast Guard's Curtis Bay Shipyard went off line—off the electric line, that is. Methane from the Baltimore City-owned Quarantine Road Landfill fuels a new electricity and steam power plant, taking the shipyard 'off the grid' for the next 15 years. Curtis Bay is the first U.S. Coast Guard facility worldwide to be 100 percent self-powered by renewable energy and has the first LFG energy cogeneration plant in Maryland.

In a 'light-off' ceremony on Earth Day 2009, the new power system lit up its first appliance—a Fresnel lens used in lighthouses 80 years ago. Light-off is a maritime term indicating completion of the major mechanical and electrical systems of a ship, making it ready for sail. Covering 113 acres, Curtis Bay is the Coast Guard's sole shipbuilding and major repair facility and is an essential part of the Coast Guard's fleet support operations.

Four methane-powered generators will generate 1 MW of electricity each and an existing boiler was converted to burn LFG. In addition, heat recovery boilers recover heat from the engines and turn the heat into steam. Steam travels through nearly a mile of underground steam lines, which were replaced as part of the largest construction project on the yard in 10 years.

Alone, the project will provide enough renewable power to meet the annual energy savings goal for the entire Department of Homeland Security for the next four years. The $41 million project will be paid for entirely from the savings realized by generating electricity on site, rather than purchasing it.

The Coast Guard is actively finding innovative ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle; adopt green procurement objectives; and seek forms of alternative and renewable energy as a response to greenhouse gases. —Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo, Assistant Commandant for Engineering and Logistics

Curtis Bay is lighting the way for other Coast Guard facilities to employ renewable energy. In early 2009, officials at the Coast Guard Training Center in New Jersey unveiled plans to build two wind turbines on the base that would generate 4 MW of electricity. Construction could begin by 2011.

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