CONCORD, N.C. — Mayor Scott Padgett joined representatives from three companies to dedicate a new landfill gas-to-energy plant at Republic Services’ CMS landfill in Concord on Wednesday.
“This is a cause for celebration,” Padgett said at a ribbon-cutting event featuring representatives from Republic Services, Duke Energy and Fortistar Inc. “Using a resource that’s already here to make energy with no pollution is a win-win-win.”
The landfill is adjacent to Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“We know how to create garbage as a country,” Padgett said. “But converting that energy to something useful is something that we do need to do more of.”
The facility produces electricity by burning methane collected from decaying waste in the landfill. The burning gas powers two Solar Taurus turbines, which generate electricity that then enters Duke Energy’s electrical grid. The plant produces enough energy to power 7,700 homes.
The 11.5-megawatt facility is the largest landfill gas project in the Southeast, said Mark Comora, president of Fortistar Inc., which built the facility. He emphasized the importance of local power in cities like Concord.
“You do not need to build long transmission lines or other things to bring power into the community. It’s already located here.”
The power plant is one of 69 energy projects Republic Services is working on nationwide.
“For an investment project of this nature to be successful … it has to make great business sense, it’s got to provide economic development, which this does, and it must benefit the community, which this does,” said Jamey Amick, Charlotte area president of Republic Services, which serves 94,000 customers in the area.
“Landfill gas is the little engine that could that plays a very important local role,” Comora said. “Fortistar’s view is that every landfill in the country should take the methane created from that landfill and turn it into some sort of power base to get proper and full usage of it.”