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Project Profile

WM Renewable Energy's Riverbend Project with McMinnville Power & Light

LMOP Award Winner  Self Developed (Absence of third party developer)
McMinnville, Oregon
End User(s):
McMinnville Power & Light
Riverbend Landfill Company, Inc.
Landfill Size:
2.5 million tons waste-in-place (2001)
Project Type:
Reciprocating Engine (six Caterpillar 3516s)
Project Size:
4.8 megawatts (MW)
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by more than 4,500 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from nearly 4,100 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from more than 49,700 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 2,800 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.058 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Caterpillar, Inc., Waste Management, Inc.
Last Updated:

Waste Management Renewable Energy (WMRE), an industry leader in landfill gas (LFG) energy projects, launched eight renewable energy projects in 2010, one of which is located in McMinnville, Oregon. The $10 million project at Riverbend Landfill includes six gas-fired engines and sells the energy to McMinnville Power & Light, the local utility. The project generates revenue for the landfill and helps the utility meet a mandate that 10 percent of its power come from renewable sources by 2025.

Instead of simply burning off the LFG in a flare to comply with landfill regulations, the LFG is harnessed to generate 4.8 MW of power, which is then sold for around 5 cents per kilowatt-hour to McMinnville Power & Light. Revenue helps offset the infrastructure costs and provides clean and low-cost energy to the community. Furthermore, the County Board of Commissioners has endorsed an expansion of Riverbend Landfill, which would allow the landfill to generate larger amounts of power, potentially for up to 50 years.

The fact that landfill gas is renewable and reliable is important as well. Wind and solar energy are renewable, but not as reliable. With gas from Riverbend, we will have a steady and renewable source of clean and low-cost energy for 20 years. —Paul Elias, General Manager, Riverbend Landfill

The Riverbend project is one of many sustainable energy projects supported by landfill owner Waste Management, Inc. (WMI). A leader in the LFG energy industry for over two decades, WMI contributes to numerous projects throughout the United States and Canada, supplying LFG to 125 beneficial-use projects in 29 states and two Canadian provinces. Energy generated by these projects is enough to power one million homes, with goals to double that amount by 2020. WMI has played many different roles in these LFG energy projects: landfill owner, project operator, seller of LFG, and project financier. This variety of experience provides them valuable perspective for developing and managing successful LFG energy projects and led to their recognition as the 2010 LMOP Industry Partner of the Year.

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