- Early in December, Toyota’s Georgetown, KY plant will begin harnessing methane gas for fuel, retrieving it from Central Kentucky Landfill. Most of the methane will pass through a six-mile transmission line that runs from the landfill to an onsite generator that will convert it to electricity.
- Through this process, the plant will be able to produce one megawatt of electricity per hour, though the generator can be upgraded to output 10 megawatts per hour, and the gas reserves are expected to increase as the landfill matures.
- The methane-generated electricity will provide 2% of the plant’s power, an amount that could be put to use to build 10,000 cars according to Toyota Energy Management Specialist Chris Adkins.
"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," said Kevin Butt, Toyota's general manager for environment strategies, to KY Forward.
Toyota announced last month that it intends to reduce average emissions from its cars by 90% by 2050, compared with 2010 levels.
From factories to utility companies, more businesses are finding ways to produce renewable energy from landfill gas — sometimes even building their own waste-to-energy plants. By tapping into this resource, they are cutting their operational expenses, working toward mandated goals to generate a specified volume of renewable energy, and lowering gas emissions for a cleaner environment.