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Munster will tap landfill gases to produce electricity; Will project use NIPSCO’s proposed feed-in tariff pending IURC approval? June 27, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in Feed-in Tariffs (FiT), Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Uncategorized.
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Editor’s Note: We assume that the Town of Munster hopes to sell the electricity from this landfill to methane project to NIPSCO under their soon to be approved feed-in tariff program currently awaiting approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). Indiana Distributed Energy Advocates (IDEA) was a party to the Settlement Agreement reached with NIPSCO. A Joint proposed order supporting the Settlement Agreement was filed May 13, 2011. The IURC agenda for this week’s conference scheduled for Wednesday, June 29 at 2:00 pm does not list the NIPSCO order in Cause No. 43922. Maybe next week? Keep reading and watching this blog for details! Laura Ann Arnold

Original story: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/munster/article_48acb866-2601-5965-8b14-ede408ff122b.html

By Lu Ann Franklin, Times Correspondent | Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011 10:30 am

MUNSTER | Two projects to collect the methane gas emitted by the former landfill along Calumet Avenue and turn it into electricity will begin this summer at Centennial Park.

The first phase of the project will modify the current gas wells that collect the methane and other gases produced by the decomposition of landfill material. This includes repairs to the gas vault and collection system on the north end of the park.

The Munster Town Council awarded work for the well modification to Olthoff Inc. of Chicago Heights for a bid of nearly $194,000. An industrial/commercial contractor, Olthoff is not related to the local residential construction company, said Tom DeGiulio, Munster town manager.

The second phase of the $3.4 million project will be constructed by Energy Systems Group of Newburgh, Ind., to more efficiently collect the gas to power a new turbine. The turbine produces electricity that will be sold to NIPSCO.

Expected to be completed next spring, the project includes moving the flare south, building housing for the turbines and putting up screening to shield the mechanics.

Munster has been operating turbines that convert the gas to electricity for several years, but they are not efficient and are beginning to need repairs, Town Engineer James Mandon said.

This larger turbine project will generate more electricity.

Munster will operate the new system, half of which is being funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant.

Tax increment financing district money will float a loan for Munster’s half of the cost until NIPSCO revenues start to arrive.

“Conservative estimates are that the gas will last 17 to 19 more years,” DeGiulio said. “We’re anticipating that it will last more than 25 years.”

However, the odor produced by the decomposition still will linger, Mandon said, because it leaks from the landfill cells despite plastic liners that encapsulate the material.

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