A Nevada energy company turns trash into fuel

Landfill gases are lucrative sources of renewable energy (/shutterstock)

Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | March 20th, 2018

Nevada’s 25 percent law, a principle that requires 25% of the energy provided to customers to be from renewable sources, is inspiring companies to get creative with their resources.

NV Energy, a company providing electricity and heating to thousands of Nevada citizens, are already implementing a practice that places them around the 25% renewable rule–by using landfill gas.

Landfill gas is a combination of gases that occur as a byproduct of the stuff most people throw away, such as decomposing organic and inorganic material. Half carbon dioxide, half methane, the gas mixture is then pumped to a small power plant.

The methane gas is isolated, cleaned, and mixed with mercaptan to give it a detectable odor, because methane gas is odorless and colorless. That energy is then given to NV Energy customers. This method is not new; Fresh Kills, a former landfill in Staton Island, New York, started converting landfill gas to usable energy in 2013.

NV Energy has more plans to expand its use of renewable energy in the future.


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