2008 Granger Landfill Gas Project
In 2008, the BLP joined Michigan Public Power Association’s (MPPA) Granger project to purchase up to 3,740 Kilowatts of Landfill Gas Generation in response to PA 295. The BLP began receiving a portion of that generation in July 2010. Due to some difficulties experienced by Granger, the BLP signed an Agreement to participate in the MPPA North American Natural Resources Renewable Energy Project to supplement the Granger agreement to assure the delivery of the 3,740 Kilowatts.
2010 Organic Biofuel Test Project
In 2010, the BLP received an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, awarded by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. With this grant, the BLP has been able to contract with Muskegon Based Alternative Energy Solutions (AES) to test the viability of an alternative, locally harvested and locally processed Organic Biofuel in the diesel generators. This Organic Biofuel is made from local sources such as restaurant waste oils, soy, canola and algae.
The final run on the BLP’s #5 engine, a 1954 10-Cylindar Nordberg, using this vegetable derived fuel resulted in a stack opacity of less than 5% and an engine output of 3 megawatts. If that engine were to run 40 hours per week it would provide enough energy for 500 homes each month.
During the course of the Grant period, (April 2010 to March 2011), AES delivered over 8,000 gallons of fuel to the diesel plant. BLP Diesel Plant operators ran 117,000 kWh of power during that period.
Preliminary results showed good compatibility with the Nordberg engine injectors and fuel system. Engine performance also ran smoother with less opacity emissions than conventional fuel oils. A soybean derived fuel was used for the final run providing an almost invisible opacity level of less than 5%. Normal operations prior to this Project presented a visible plume at the 20% regulated allowance level.
The $66,680 Grant also included a portion for labor, equipment, reporting and marketing expenses. The final tally of these State and Federal funds amounted to approximately $50,000 to develop this enterprise.
2011 Energy Efficient Street Light Program
The BLP began testing various energy efficient street light technologies in fall 2009, including LED and Magnetic Induction to replace the standard 175 Watt Mercury Vapor light. The evaluation of multiple manufacturers and styles included eight LED and six Magnetic Induction lights and considered light output, light quality, energy usage, life span, and costs. Magnetic Induction fixture cost is five times the cost of current Mercury Vapor fixtures; however, the life of the new technology is significantly longer than the old technology. Factoring fixture cost, installation cost and length of life, the evaluation concluded the rate is $3.00 less per month with Magnetic Induction.
Due to the significant up front cost of the new fixtures, the BLP will phase in the conversion to the Magnetic Induction lights beginning with the purchase and replacement of approximately 50 fixtures in the 2011. These fixtures will be installed in the City of Grand Haven and municipalities served on a prorated basis. The BLP will also work with municipalities to seek potential grant funding if they desire adding additional Magnetic Induction street lighting to their communities.