Methane and other gases are the natural byproducts of the decomposition of waste in the landfill.

“We are excited to launch this important renewable energy initiative,” said AmerenUE 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 AmerenUE’s use of methane, much of which is currently burned off (flared) when not needed.

The next step in the process is for AmerenUE 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 and 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.”