Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the dividend return on the sale of electricity from the decaying old landfill, now Tramore Valley Park. Over the past three years the cumulative income from the sale of electricity from the site is approximately €565,000. The cumulative expenditure to date on the project is in the region of €610,000.
The Director of Services for Environment and Recreation and Amenity David Joyce informed Cllr McCarthy at last week’s City Council meeting after he asked the question about future funding for the park. This site will be for sometime still to come, subject to an EPA license. One of the conditions of the EPA License is the need to process the gas being produced by the degradation of the landfill matter under the capping material. The decision to generate electricity at TVP from the landfill gasses was a direct result of this requirement. Generating electricity from this gas is a much better environmental alternative to just simply ﬂaring to the atmosphere. Procurement processes were undertaken, which involved the hiring of a suitable ‘engine‘ and the sale of the electricity generated. These contracts covered the initiation of the electricity-generation process, management of the process and provision of planned preventative maintenance (PPM) on the system (engine, pumps, pipelines, SCADA etc) as well as the purchase the electricity from the City Council (Vayu).
Cllr McCarthy noted: “this is a great European best practice example of sustainable land use. The income generated to date from the sale of the electricity have gone towards the capital costs associated with the setting up and maintenance of the infrastructure and hardware required for the electricity generation. It is anticipated that during 20l8 the project capital costs will be fully repaid and that going forward the income from the sale of electricity will be put towards the ongoing costs associated with the maintenance of the equipment”.
It is important to note that the quantity and quality of the gasses at the site are already falling and as such the annual income to the City Council will decrease year on year at a rate yet to be identiﬁed. It will thus become uneconomical at some point to continue to produce electricity at the site. It is expected that this point will be reached in the next 3-5 years but given the uncertainty surrounding the prediction of gas quality and quantity these ﬁgures are only estimates.
Cllr McCarthy has also put forward Tramore Valley Park and the story of the electricity from the landfill as a best practice sustainable land use example in the EU Urban Agenda as part of his membership on the European Committee of the Regions; he noted “it is great to be able to share this success story with other local authorities from across Europe and learn from other projects; Tramore Valley Park is larger than the sum of its parts; it’s something the City and region can be proud of; I am also heartened to hear that funding has been put aside by Cork City Council to open the park to the public next year”.