GRU, Alachua County Team Up To Bring Residents GRUgreen Energy
GAINESVILLE, GA — DECEMBER 2, 2003 — Gainesville Regional Utilities and Alachua County Public Works team up to bring Gainesville residents GRUgreenSM Energy using local renewable sources. The partnership enables GRU to convert landfill gas, which Alachua County Public Works has been flaring off since the landfill closed in 1998, into GRUgreen Energy for customers wanting an alternative energy source. Three engine-generators convert the landfill gas into energy.
A ribbon cutting unveiling the GRUgreen Energy "Landfill Gas to Energy" project takes place on December 3 at 11:00 a.m. at the Southwest Landfill in Archer. The event includes tours of the "Landfill Gas to Energy" project and a luncheon discussing the new electricity generation option.
"GRUgreen Energy becomes a reality with new generators transforming landfill waste to energy," said Mark Spiller, strategic planning analyst for GRU. "We are proud to be able to offer this local alternative energy source to GRU customers."
"With limited renewable energy sources in Florida, GRU and Alachua County have worked hard to bring a green energy source to residents," said Spiller. "The Southwest Landfill generates 95 percent of GRUgreen Energy along with other sources such as wind and solar."
In an unusual landfill gas to energy process, the team takes leachate drained from the landfill and recycles it back through the garbage. The process accelerates the creation of methane gas and is what separates this waste-to-energy project from others.
"It's like giving the landfill a shot of adrenaline," says Ron Bishop, project director for Alachua County Public Works.
The Southwest Landfill is one of the most studied landfills in the country and sets a precedent in expanding green energy nationally. With dissertations and numerous masters thesis's resulting from the studies, the University of Florida College of Engineering aided in the idea of re-introducing liquids as a key component in the process.
University of Florida research showed the practice of converting waste-to-energy was not only safe but will also reduce the size of the landfill by 75 percent.
"A landfill that would otherwise take 100 years to decompose can now be stabilized in 12-15 years," said Bishop.
Landfill gas travels through five miles of pipes and lines until it reaches the engine-generators where it is transformed into electricity.
For more information or to purchase GRUgreen Energy, visit www.gru.com, or call (352) 334-3434.
GRU Contact: Shannon Goff, (850) 668-2222