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COLLINSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)- Approximately 3,000 to 4,000 homes around the DeKalb County town of Collinsville are now being supplied electricity from landfill gas.  Energy Developments, Republic Waste, Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative and TVA unveiled the project on Tuesday.

“This is a renewable energy project,” said Energy Development CEO Steve Cowman. “We basically take landfill gas and convert it into electric power.”

The plant is located at the Sand Valley Landfill outside of Collinsville.  Methane is a natural byproduct from waste decomposing underground at landfills.  Normally that gas is just burned off and its energy potential lost.

“We take that gas, we scrub it up, clean it up and we run it through a reciprocating engine and we feed that power out onto the grid,” Cowman said.

The Sand Mountain Electric Cooperate is using its lines to take electricity from the plant and feed it into the TVA grid.   Officials say much of that electricity ends up being consumed by homes and businesses in the Collinsville area.

“The landfill runs 24/7, so we produce power 24/7.  It’s a renewable resource but unlike solar and wind it isn’t intermittent.”

Energy Development has a contract with the landfill for the next 20 years.  They sell the electricity to TVA.   This project is part of TVA’s plan to get power from more environmentally friendly sources.