The Sumpter Energy Associates (SEA) facility is an 8 megawatt landfill gas-to-energy facility located at City Sand & Landfill in Sumpter, Michigan. SEA is owned as a joint partnership between Landfill Energy Systems (LES) and Waste Management, with LES owning fifty-one percent and functioning as general partner. LES was responsible for the design, engineering and construction of the facility. In addition the plant is operated and maintained by LES. The landfill is owned by Waste Management and is located approximately 30 miles west of Detroit. It is a 230 acre landfill with 140 acres devoted to gas recovery. There are currently 160 wells in place producing 4.5 million cubic feet of gas per day. Before LES developed the project, the gas was flared.
SEA utilizes 10 Caterpillar 3516 spark ignited turbo charged and aftercooled lean burn engine generator sets. The electrical power is stepped up from 4160 volts to 40kV and transported 1.8 miles where it is tied into the Detroit Edison distribution grid. SEA generates sufficient power to provide electricity for 8,800 homes in the greater Detroit metropolitan area. The facility is manned by full-time LES plant operators who perform all preventative maintenance services in addition to operating the plant.
SEA first began exporting electricity to the Detroit Edison Company in July of 1992 and has produced electricity at a capacity factor of over 99% every month. It is the largest reciprocating engine driven landfill gas-to-energy facility in the state of Michigan. This facility was featured in Caterpillar’s Gen Set Power Report and has been earmarked by Caterpillar as a showcase for landfill gas facilities.