Georgetown, Kentucky – As part of an effort to virtually eliminate CO2 emissions from its manufacturing plants, Toyota plans to begin generating electricity for its Georgetown, Kentucky, plant from methane, a byproduct of trash decomposition from the nearby Central Kentucky Landfill.
“We will generate 1MW per hour at the site,” says Toyota’s environmental strategies manager Dave Absher. “That’s enough annual energy generation to produce approximately 10,000 vehicles. The system can eventually be scaled up to 10MW hour.”
Toyota plans to use alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and locally produced renewable energy to achieve manufacturing efficiency goals.
“The landfill gas generator represents the kind of thinking that our company is asking us to do to reduce our carbon footprint over the next 35 years,” says Kevin Butt, Toyota’s general manager for environment strategies. “It’s a small step, but a significant one. These types of changes to our manufacturing operations coupled with other global initiatives will help us reach this very aggressive goal.”
The project is a collaboration between Toyota’s Georgetown manufacturing plant and the Central Kentucky Landfill owned and operated by Waste Services of the Bluegrass. Landfills are required to monitor methane levels and report these levels to the EPA. Capturing and burning the methane has been determined by the EPA to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Toyota Georgetown’s project began in 2010 when the two companies met to discuss the potential. Last fall, Waste Services began installing a methane collection system and Toyota began installing the generator at the site. An underground electric transmission line runs from the landfill approximately 6.5 miles to deliver the electricity to the plant.
Source: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky