Williams transports landfill emissions as renewable natural gas
One of Williams’ newest natural gas supply sources comes from an unlikely place. Landfills.
In Washington state, as part of a new green-energy project, the Klickitat County Public Utility District (PUD), and the landfill’s owner, Republic Services, are purifying the landfill methane from the Roosevelt Regional Landfill as renewable natural gas and feeding it into Williams’ Northwest Pipeline in southern Washington.
Northwest Pipeline is a 4,000-mile bi-directional transmission pipeline that is a primary artery for the transmission of natural gas to customers throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain Region.
Every day, trains deliver 300 containers of trash and garbage to the 2,500-acre Roosevelt Landfill, which can hold 120 million tons of solid waste. When garbage decomposes in an oxygen-free environment, methane gas is produced, the primary component of natural gas.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee applauded the PUD and landfill operators as pioneers in Washington’s clean-energy future, calling the project “a remarkable story of vision, perseverance and chemistry.”
According to the Klickitat PUD, the waste material picked up at curbsides, dropped at transfer stations or sent by rail to the Roosevelt Landfill becomes a feedstock for biogas creation. The biogas injected into the nearby Williams’ Northwest Pipeline is 98 percent pure methane and is used as transportation fuel throughout the country.
Besides Washington state, Williams is involved in transporting renewable natural gas in Ohio and Texas.
Montauk Energy, an international company with operations across the United States and a leader in the development of renewable energy, produces and processes methane at the Apex Landfill, located in Amsterdam, Ohio.
“Williams is proud to partner with the company,” said Sarah Lederach, commercial development representative in our Northeast operating area with responsibility for the Flint Gas Gathering System, which handles Montauk’s renewable natural gas.
Williams’ pipelines connect directly to Montauk’s renewable natural gas facility located onsite at the Apex landfill. Lederach explained the process Montauk Energy goes through in order to produce methane from this landfill and make it available for consumption. In order to collect the methane, Montauk Energy drills tiny wells across the face of the Apex Landfill. Once gathered, the methane is treated in an onsite facility to make sure it meets Williams’ pipeline specifications.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as of July 2019, there were 62 landfill-to-gas operational projects in the United States, with 35 being planned or under construction. The EPA has identified an additional 475 potential landfills across the United States with the potential for renewable gas projects. Williams is at the forefront of this technological advancement and is committed to pursuing additional opportunities in this space.