Landfill gas is a type of biomass energy categorized as "waste energy." The process of decomposition—when organic material is broken down by microorganisms—generates methane gas, a greenhouse gas that can be hazardous. Most landfills simply burn off this gas, but through innovative renewable energy initiatives, this renewable energy can be harnessed to generate electricity.
To produce power, gas wells slowly draw methane from the landfill and pipe it to a facility where it's burned to turn engines or turbines and create electricity.
Georgia Power has contracts with landfill gas projects totaling over 25 MW.
A Renewable Energy Certificate (REC), sometimes called a renewable energy credit, represents the renewable attributes of energy produced from a renewable energy facility. RECs are considered a commodity and can be sold or traded separately from the actual energy. Georgia Power purchases only the null energy output from the renewable generating facilities that have contracted to sell energy from their solar facilities through the Large Scale Solar (LSS) program and the initial (2013/2014) Advance Solar Initiative (ASI). The sole ownership of RECs belongs to each generating facility, as specifically stated in each respective power purchase agreement (PPA). The original intent of these programs was to grow renewable resources in Georgia, while allowing the generating facilities to retain the benefits of the RECs. Georgia Power does not report emission reductions from the null energy purchased through PPAs that do not bundle the RECs for sale to Georgia Power.