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College To Use Methane Gas From Landfill To Save Energy

June 1, 2004
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Hudson Valley Community College uses landfill gas to generate its own electricity.


Troy, N.Y. - Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., joined by New York Gov. George Pataki, unveiled a power project at an upstate New York community college that has made the college energy independent, partially by converting methane gas from a local landfill into electricity.

The project is expected to save Hudson Valley Community College in Troy more than $1.3 million in energy costs while paying for the construction, operation and maintenance of the plant over a 15-year period. It is the first college in New York State to achieve energy independence by using landfill gas to generate its own supply of electricity.

"This project is an outstanding example of how New York is taking the next step to promote and develop clean and renewable energy so that we can protect our environment, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and encourage economic growth through new energy technologies," Governor Pataki said. "We've set the ambitious goal of making New York the nation's leader in renewable energy and this project marks another milestone in achieving that goal."

Siemens installed four cogeneration units, totaling 4.2 megawatts, that are producing electricity and capturing waste heat to supplement campus heating and cooling. One of the units is powered by methane gas transported via a 3,100-foot pipeline from a municipal landfill. The other three generators are powered by natural gas. The project not only allows the college to disconnect from the local utility electric grid, but also improves the environment by utilizing natural and landfill gas.

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