UNH Completes Nation's First Major University Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project
Media Contact:  Beth Potier
603-862-1566
UNH Media Relations
May 19, 2009

Additional multimedia, including a downloadable video and animation describing the project, is available here: www.prnewswire.com/mnr/UNHLandfillProject/37840/


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DURHAM, N.H. — University of New Hampshire's EcoLine™, a landfill gas-to-energy project that uses purified methane gas from a nearby landfill to power the campus, is complete, university officials announced. The five million square-foot campus will receive up to 85 percent of its electricity and heat from purified natural gas, making UNH the first university in the nation to use landfill gas as its primary fuel source.

"This massive project, more than four years in the making, will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and stabilize our fuel source and costs," says UNH President Mark W. Huddleston. "EcoLine™ showcases UNH's fiscal and environmental responsibility and secures our leadership position in sustainability."

EcoLine™ is a partnership with Waste Management's Turnkey Recycling and Environmental Enterprise (TREE) in Rochester, where the naturally occurring by-product of landfill decomposition is collected via a state-of-the-art collection system consisting of more than 300 extraction wells and miles of collection pipes.

After the gas is purified and compressed at a new UNH processing plant at TREE, it travels through a 12.7-mile-pipeline from the landfill to UNH's cogeneration plant, where it will replace commercial natural gas as the primary fuel source. In operation since 2006, UNH's cogeneration plant captures waste heat normally lost during the production of electricity and uses this energy to heat campus buildings.

Total cost of the project, which included construction of the pipeline and the processing plant at TREE, is $49 million. UNH will sell the renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated by using landfill gas through 2012 to help finance the overall cost of the project and to invest in additional energy efficiency projects on campus. In addition, UNH will sell power in excess of campus needs back to the electric grid.

"By selling the RECs from EcoLine™, UNH will further fund its aggressive plan toward climate neutrality," says Tom Kelly, UNH chief sustainability officer and director of the office of sustainability. "With this climate action plan, called WildCAP, UNH has committed lowering its emissions 50 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2080."

UNH is a leader in conserving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and integrating sustainability throughout its curricula, operations, research, and engagement efforts. Committed to being a climate protection campus that pursues a sustainable energy future through emissions reduction policies, practices, research, and education, UNH has earned several awards for its sustainability initiatives, which range from an undergraduate dual major in EcoGastronomy and organic dairy research to having the largest transit system in the state and being the first in the nation to receive an EPA Energy Star building rating for residence halls. Discover the sustainable learning community at UNH at www.sustainableunh.unh.edu and discoversustainability.org.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 11,800 undergraduate and 2,400 graduate students.

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Photographs available to download:

http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2009/feb/lfgflarebig.JPG

Caption: The University of New Hampshire's EcoLine™is a ground-breaking landfill gas-to-energy project that will use purified methane gas from a Waste Management landfill as the campus's main energy source.
Credit: Mike Ross, UNH Photographic Services.

http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2009/feb/lfgprocessingbig.JPG
As part of the EcoLine™ project, UNH built a processing plant at Waste Management's Turnkey Recycling and Environmental Enterprise (TREE) in Rochester. The plant purifies and pressurizes the naturally occurring landfill gas, collected via a state-of-the-art collection system consisting of more than 300 extraction wells and miles of collection pipes, before the gas travels to UNH.
Credit: Mike Ross, UNH Photographic Services.

http://www.unh.edu/news/img/pipeline/_L071537.jpg
http://www.unh.edu/news/img/pipeline/_PAS4632.jpg
A 12.7-mile pipeline brings purified landfill gas from Waste Management's Turnkey Recycling and Environmental Enterprise (TREE) facility in Rochester to the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham, where it will provide up to 85 percent of the university's energy needs.
Credit: Perry Smith, UNH Photographic Services.

http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2009/feb/cogenturbine.JPG
http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2009/feb/cogenfuelmix.JPG
Purified landfill gas replaces commercial natural gas in the University of New Hampshire's cogeneration plant. In operation since 2006, UNH's cogeneration plant captures waste heat normally lost during the production of electricity and uses this energy to heat campus buildings.
Credit: Mike Ross, UNH Photographic Services.

http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2009/feb/turbine_E080114.jpg
In addition to selling the renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by using landfill gas to help finance the overall cost of the project, UNH purchased a second generator for the cogeneration plant and will sell power in excess of campus needs back to the electric grid. UNH will also invest REC funds in additional energy efficiency projects on campus.
Credit: Erin Gleason, UNH Photographic Services.

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