General Motors has announced that its Oklahoma City Assembly plant has become the company's seventh to utilize landfill gas as energy. The landfill gas will account for over half of the plant's steam requirements.
Four other GM facilities – Toledo, Ohio Powertrain, Fort Wayne, and Shreveport vehicle assembly plants – also use landfill gas to power plant boilers. In addition, GM’s Service Parts Operations in Grand Blanc and Flint, Michigan utilize landfill gas by purchasing 13 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, generated from the Granger Energy landfill gas-to-electricity project.
According to the World Resources Institute and the Green Power Market Development Group, in a 2003 study GM was the largest non-utility direct user of landfill gas in the US.
GM is helping reduce coal and natural gas consumption at its plants and emissions by capturing methane that would have been vented to the atmosphere from the landfill and using it as a source of energy, said Joseph Bibeau, group director of GM’s Energy and Utility Services.
Additionally, GM’s landfill gas projects have proven not only to be good for the environment, but to reduce spending costs, generating annual savings greater than $500,000 at each plant.
By driving energy conservation initiatives and by using various renewable energy sources, such as methane gas, GM has reduced its natural gas consumption by 21% since 1995 and is on its way to achieving its 25% energy reduction goal by 2005.