Progress Energy has signed its fourth contract to buy green energy generated by gases that seep from landfills.
The Raleigh electric utility signed a 12-year contract with Methane Power to buy electricity to be generated by methane from the Wayne County landfill, about an hour southeast of Raleigh.
The methane power plant is expected to begin generating power by the end of this year and create enough electricity to serve about 1,800 households.
Progress will also get credit toward its renewable requirements under a 2007 state energy law that requires greater reliance on clean energy sources.
Progress signed its first contract in 2006 to buy power from a 1-megawatt landfill methane plant in Buncombe County.
The company also has contracts with a 4-megawatt methane plant in Craven County and a 6.4-megawatt plant in Sampson County.
Landfills spontaneously release flammable methane gas as buried garbage decomposes. Landfills typically release enough gas to generate power for one to two decades.
Staff writer John Murawski