BMW Manufacturing’s original Landfill Gas Project was implemented in 2003 in conjunction with partners Ameresco and Waste Management. Infrastructure was installed at the Palmetto Landfill to collect, clean and compress the methane gas; the gas is then transported through a 9.5 mile pipeline to the BMW plant. The methane gas coming from the landfill is used to more efficiently cogenerate electrical power and heat water, saving BMW several million dollars each year.
In 2009, BMW replaced the original 4 turbines with 2 new highly efficient turbines. The new turbines increased the electrical output from 14% up to nearly 30%. Currently, around 20% of the plant’s total energy requirements are provided by methane gas. The implementation of the landfill gas program reduces CO2 emissions by 9,200 tons per year. This is equivalent to CO2 emissions from 23.5 million miles driven by gasoline-powered vehicles each year.