Renewable Energy for Cool Counties

 Wind Energy Purchase

Cool Counties LogoThe county purchased 5.8 million kWh of wind energy in 2005 from Washington Gas Energy Services/Community Energy/Mountaineer Wind Farm in West Virginia, bringing a reduction of 6.2 million pounds of CO2 in the two-year contract. Fairfax County continued the commitment of purchasing 5 percent of the general county’s energy from wind in 2007 and 2008 and has made a commitment to expand to 10 percent of the general county usage in 2009.


The Department of Public Works and Environmental Services has adopted a waste-to-energy approach, recovering methane, controlling nitrous oxide and generating electricity from solid waste. Methane traps 21 times more heat per molecule than CO2, and nitrous oxide absorbs 310 times more heat. The waste-to-energy plant at the I-95 Landfill generates electricity, offsetting the CO2 emissions equivalent to that of an 80 MW coal-fired power plant. Also, gas produced can be sold so the recovery offsets energy that would be generated by fossil fuel.

Land Fill Gas Recovery and Utilization

The county is in the process of using landfill gas generated by the closed I-66 Sanitary Landfill as a fuel source to heat county buildings on the West Ox Campus. In particular, the new Department of Vehicle Services garage has radiant heaters that can be easily converted to burn landfill gas, as was done for the shop building at the I-95 Landfill

In 2005, the county began the Phase 1 planning and design for the project. Construction of the necessary infrastructure to use landfill gas from the closed I-66 Sanitary Landfill as a source of renewable energy will be accomplished in Phase 2, which is to be completed in 2008. The total project cost is approximately $300,000, with estimated annual savings of $70,000 per year in reduced natural gas consumption. The landfill gas pipeline would run approximately 2,500 feet from the existing flare station to the garage. In addition, landfill gas is used to generate an additional six MW of electricity at the I-95 Landfill, and as fuel for sludge processing at Noman M. Cole, Jr. Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
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