Lebanon approves extra money for landfill gas project

Published: 04-24-2024 5:00 PM

LEBANON — The City Council last week approved an additional appropriation of nearly $725,000 for a project that will convert greenhouse gas emissions from the city’s landfill into electricity.

The goal is to reduce emissions in the city by 3,500 tons a year — equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 23,000 gasoline-powered cars, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The city has so far spent $6.6 million on the project, including the new appropriation, which is about $1.5 million more than initially budgeted. But the project will not impact the municipal property tax rate.

Revenues from selling the facility’s power output to the grid are expected to offset the full cost of the project, according to Deputy City Manager David Brooks. About $2.85 million of the project has already been paid, leaving a remaining $3.75 million in bond payments.

The city planned to start construction in 2022 and start producing electricity in 2023. Construction was halted in large part to allow for a 16-month study requested by National Grid on its Poverty Lane substation, which will help deliver power from the landfill’s turbines onto the grid. That study is expected to wrap up this summer.

Once construction crews are able to break ground at the site, the project could be generating electricity within six months.