Lansdale Borough just agreed to an energy plan that really stinks.
On May 18, the borough unanimously decided to enter into an Energy Developments Inc. (EDI) Landfill Energy schedule with American Municipal Power-Ohio for a 10-year plan to receive up to 56 megawatts of energy capacity from a power plant fueled by methane gas from three Ohio landfills.
EDI, also known as Bio Gas Ohio LLC, will expand the plant’s capacity to 40 megawatts in February 2012, 53 megawatts in August 2012 and 56 megawatts in January 2013.
Lansdale Borough purchases power through AMP-Ohio in blocks, estimating usage and selling power back at a loss if it overpurchases power.
Lansdale power supply consultant Jim Havrilla said the existing landfill in Ohio has had generation on it for the past 10 years.
“They are expanding that to 56 megawatts. As part of that expansion, they are opening solicitation to all AMP-Ohio members,” Havrilla said. “The reason the borough has an interest in this, one, it’s green energy. It’s landfill renewable energy. It’s also at a favorable market price.”
Havrilla said the price is below the market rate, and it will take the borough into the future for 10 years as part of its power portfolio.
“We’re never exposed completely to the risk of the market,” Havrilla said.
Councilman Rich DiGregorio asked if the borough has any liability for infrastructure.
“There’s no liability, no ownership of the plant itself,” Havrilla said. “We’re buying the output of a plant. We’re buying the energy sold from that plant.”
Havrilla said it was “low risk compared to opportunities out there.”
Councilman Jack Hansen liked the stability of the agreement.
“In 2009, we signed an agreement to keep electric rates stable until 2015, and this takes us to more than 10 years,” Hansen said. “I think it’s a wonderful idea for the borough.”
Councilman Mike Riccio then quickly corrected Hansen’s statement.
“It doesn’t take us for our full power for the next 10 years,” Riccio said. “And we haven’t locked ourselves until 2014. We’re locked in that 95 percent.”
The EDI agreement isn’t the only energy plan the borough has in its sights.
It is in the process of deciding whether or not to sign up to receive electricity from the Fremont Energy Center in Ohio. The center is a clean-burning natural gas plant under construction.
You can read more about that here.