Ottumwa’s Landfill could be used as Renewable Energy


Written By Randall Gimm
OTTUMWA, IA (KYOU) – The City of Ottumwa has been approached by Vespene Energy, a company out of Berkeley, California. Vespene provides customers with capital and a plan to implement machinery that converts methane gas into electricity.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Methane is the second most harmful gas to our ozone layer, behind Carbon Dioxide. Methane naturally emits from landfills, and the amount of methane from those landfills is regulated by the EPA. Each landfill has a different requirement but, with Vespene’s help, they can harness a good portion of that gas and stop it from escaping.

Head of sales for Vespene Energy, Brett Arnold says the process isn’t perfect but, it does help and will keep Ottumwa’s air a little cleaner.

“It’s physically impossible to collect one hundred percent of it but, we can with our engineering teams design the best thing we can to collect as much as possible. Literally drilling, putting tubes into the ground, getting this gas into these tubes and sending it to one central point,” says Arnold.

That central point would be an engine where the methane would combust and be converted into energy. That electricity could be used for several things. To power the landfill office with energy, supply power to a data center that Vespene would build on landfill property or sell the electricity back to the grid at a premium.

Arnold says the amount of energy generated would be more than enough to power the landfill’s office.

As for the data center, it is a shipping container like structure with super computers in it, that would mine for Bitcoin and supply data companies with cloud storage. Both of which would make significant money for the city of Ottumwa.

Director of Community Development for the City of Ottumwa, Zach Simonson, says the selling of the energy to the grid, could bring the city over 1.5 million dollars over ten years.

The contract has not been signed by either the city or Vespene. But both parties expressed full intention to get the deal done.

Copyright 2024 KYOU. All rights reserved.

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