Will County celebrates groundbreaking Gas-to-Energy plant
Project marks historic partnership between Will County and Waste Management
JOLIET, Illinois – Will County and Waste Management celebrated an historic partnership today with the groundbreaking of a gas-to-energy plant at the County’s Prairie View landfill in Wilmington.
Earlier this year, the County entered into a public-private partnership with Waste Management to construct a gas-to-energy plant coupling $1 million of grant dollars from the United States Department of Energy with a $6 million investment from Waste Management.
Waste Management pioneered landfill gas-to-energy technology in North America. The Company now operates more than 100 landfill gas-to-energy plants, which produce the equivalent of almost 500 megawatts of power, enough to meet the energy needs of about 400,000 homes. With more than 20 years of experience, Waste Management has become the nation’s leading gas-to-energy plant operator and is positioned to expand its waste-based renewable power generation across the country.
Will County Executive Larry Walsh praised this partnership, acknowledging the importance of public-private partnerships in today’s economic climate is greater than ever before.
“With governmental entities across the country being challenged by declining revenues, I am proud Will County is able to benefit from this type of public-private partnership,” Walsh said. “The cooperative spirit of the County Executive’s office and the County Board on this project, and many of our other green efforts, is what is keeping Will County moving forward despite difficult economic conditions.”
“The partnership with Waste Management will convert trash into cash for the benefit of our taxpayers.” Will County Board Chairman Jim Moustis said. “This facility is not only environmentally friendly it is also economically friendly. This effort is a long time coming, and was included in the original siting of the landfill. This concept has been discussed over the years by the County Board and the County Executive’s office. Today we see that hard work start to take shape with this ground breaking.”
Will County will receive revenue from the sale of the gas created from decomposing garbage which will be harnessed and converted to energy and used to power potentially 8,000 homes. The future revenue generated from the sale of the gas and the sale of the electricity could reach $1 million annually.
Steve Batchelor, Waste Management Market Area Vice President for Illinois and Indiana, said facilities, such as the Prairie View Plant, have become an important focus for the company in the 21st century.
“Waste Management is committed to develop landfill gas-to-energy plants as a source of reliable, clean, renewable energy,” Batchelor said. “This facility is another step in our efforts to use waste as a resource to benefit the environment and realize our goal of doubling the electrical power we provide to North America by the year 2020.”
This effort is also in line with Will County’s commitment to green initiatives which includes responsible recycling and environmental education.
“This partnership is an excellent example of Will County’s continued responsibility to the tax payers, our communities, and our planet,” Walsh added.