MASHUP: Bioenergy picking up steam in Great Lakes region
More and more bioenergy plants are fueling sustainable energy efforts in Great Lakes states, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory BioFuels interactive map.
Biofuels and biopower plants, which produce energy from landfill gas, wood and municipal solid wastes, roughly equal the number of power plants run on wind and water, according to the mashup.
More than 50 plants in Wisconsin, Illinois and southern Michigan run on gas produced by microorganisms that break down landfill material.
Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio each have a handful of biopower plants fueled by wood. And about a dozen Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana plants convert municipal solid waste into ethanol.
The atlas also illustrates biopower feedstocks, such as crop residues and methane resources, and non-biopower power plants for comparison.
The BioPower map shows that extracting methane from wastewater is more common in larger cities like Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The query tool is handy for gathering data at certain locations, which can be downloaded from the site in a database.
The two maps, which make up the laboratory’s BioEnery Atlas, combine data from the U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture.