ST. LOUIS, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- AmerenUE announced today an agreement with Fred Weber, Inc. that includes plans to install combustion turbines capable of generating about 15 megawatts (MW) of electricity by burning methane gas at Fred Weber's Maryland Heights, Mo., solid waste landfill. Expected to be operational in 2011, the "Methane to Megawatts" project will be the largest landfill gas-electric plant in Missouri and among the largest landfill generation plants in the country in terms of generating capacity, producing enough electricity to meet the demands of about 10,000 homes.
Under the terms of the agreement, UE will purchase the methane from Fred Weber. Methane and other gases are the natural byproducts of the decomposition of waste in the landfill. Financial terms of the gas-purchase agreement are confidential.
"We are excited to launch this important renewable energy initiative," said UE President and Chief Executive Officer Warner Baxter. "It will offer meaningful benefits to our customers, the local community and the State of Missouri. Methane to Megawatts is consistent with our commitment to generate cleaner, reliable energy while meeting our customers' expectations for renewable power at a reasonable cost."
The methane will be delivered to the turbines through a blower plant that delivers 6,000 cubic feet of landfill gas per minute, 24 hours a day. The gas is collected through 120 landfill wells, which are plumbed and connected with two miles of high-density plastic pipe. Currently, the blower delivers landfill gas for use at Fred Weber's on-site asphalt plant and to nearby Pattonville High School and Jaeger Greenhouses, where it is used to generate heat. Delivery of gas to the high school and greenhouse facilities will not be affected by UE's use of methane, much of which is currently burned off ("flared") when not needed.
The next step in the process is for UE to conduct engineering studies to determine the best location on Fred Weber's property to place the turbines. Construction of the turbines is expected to begin in 2010, and the turbines are expected to begin generating power sometime in 2011.
"Our agreement with UE is a win-win for the companies, the environment and the community," says Tom Dunne, Jr., Fred Weber President & Chief Operating Officer, Waste Management Services. "The community gets a reliable source of electric power from a renewable resource that doesn't emit additional carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Fred Weber will benefit from the sale of the gas, while UE meets its customers' desire for greener energy."
About the Companies
AmerenUE, founded in 1902, provides electric service to approximately 1.2 million customers across central and eastern Missouri, including the greater St. Louis area. UE serves 57 Missouri counties and 500 towns. The company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. For more information, visit www.ameren.com.
Fred Weber, Inc. is an industry leader in civil, heavy / highway construction and solid waste services headquartered in Maryland Heights, MO. The company is a major asphalt and aggregate supplier in the St. Louis market and employs 1,400 people in six states. Fred Weber, Inc. owns and operates one of the largest landfills in the United States. For more information on the scope of services they provide, visit www.fredweberinc.com.
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