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Durham, NH, University of New Hampshire ECOLine

UNH EcoLine methane gas plant

University of New Hampshire ECOLine

Location: Durham and Rochester, New Hampshire, United States

Project owner: University of New Hampshire

Project type: Energy

Budget: $20 million - $50 million

Project description: The project will treat and pipe methane gas from the waste management of New Hampshire’s landfill in Rochester to the University of New Hampshire’s campus power plant in Durham, NH. Landfill gas will be processed and piped through a 12.7 mile pipeline to the 7.9 MW combined-cycle cogeneration plant that will heat and provide electricity to over 200 buildings on campus. A second 4.6 MW medium BTU gas turbine was also installed for handling excess available gas for electric generation to be exported to the grid.

How it satisfies the "triple bottom line" approach (economic, environmental, social), including innovative aspects:
The $49 million investment will be recouped from reduced natural gas purchases in less than 10 years.
Environmental: Using carbon-neutral processed landfill gas to supplant natural gas as the primary fuel for the campus CHP facility eventually will provide up to 85% of the entire campus energy needs. This adheres to the strategies put in place to meet the campus goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 and the 50% reduction goal (from 1990 baseline) by 2020. Previously, the untreated methane was being flared into the atmosphere directly.
Social: The reduction of natural gas use allows other users in the "constrained" region to utilize the fuel source. Also allows the university to demonstrate all technical and environmental benefits to a student body continually through its interactive monitoring system, allowing for a hands-on case study in the students' "backyard."

Categories of innovation: Project strategy and management, energy and carbon, resource management including waste

Additional resources for information: Matt O’Keefe, campus energy manager, University of New Hampshire, 17 Leavitt Lane, Durham, NH 03824; 603-862-1276; 

For more about this project:
 Overview of project data in real time:
CHP website with real-time data available:
Main project website:

Submitted by: Matt O'Keefe

Date submitted:
 July 27, 2011

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