Methane gas for TVA’s green power program comes from the City of Memphis wastewater treatment facility. It produces a methane by-product that is burned along with coal at TVA’s Allen Fossil Plant.
Methane is produced when organic wastes decay. The wastewater plant’s lagoon was covered to capture the methane, which otherwise would have to be burned off in order to reduce the danger that comes when too much gas builds up.
If methane is released right into the atmosphere, it is a powerful greenhouse gas. That means it adds to global warming. Using it to make energy instead reduces the amount of methane that is put into the atmosphere. For this reason, energy recovery from methane is good for the environment.
Besides helping out with global warming, the methane fuel used at Allen Fossil Plant saves more than 8,000 tons of coal, and that means less air pollution.