Methane gas is a by-product of the decomposition of waste at a landfill. The gas is collected and contained in wells and the Development Authority, as the owner of the landfill, is required to destroy the methane gas. Traditionally, this is accomplished at landfills through the use of flares that burn the gas. However, the Authority determined that a beneficial reuse of the gas was possible and entered into a partnership with private developer, Aria Energy, to build a plant at the landfill site that would take the methane gas generated by the landfill waste and convert it into electricity that could then be sold to the power grid.
Aria Energy, a company that specializes in renewable energy projects, owns the power plant, which has the capacity to generate 6.4MW of electricity, enough to power about 5,000 homes.
In 2009, the Climate Action Reserve, a national registry for carbon credits, recognized the Development Authority/Aria Energy gas-to-energy project as the first carbon reduction project outside of California to earn carbon credits.