Methane

Elk City Station, which generates electricity from landfill gas

Methane, the basic ingredient of natural gas, is released when organic material decays. It is possible to capture that methane – thus preventing its release into the atmosphere – and burn it to generate electricity.

That’s what NPA member Omaha Public Power District is doing at its Elk City Station, located in Douglas County. The plant captures TK tons of methane per year from decomposing trash, and uses it to generate enough electricity to power about 4,000 homes.

The facility, operating since 2002, has electric generating capacity of 6.1 megawatts (MW). Because trash at the landfill is always decomposing, the Elk City Station can generate electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, it operates for about 95% of the hours in a given year.

So, the next time you cut your lawn or throw out your trash, you could be providing the fuel to generate electricity that will be used by your neighbor or yourself!