Integrys Energy Services announced that all four units at its recently completed Winnebago Energy Center, a landfill gas-to-electricity plant located in Rockford, Ill., now are operational and actively supplying electric power to the grid.

The 6.4-megawatt plant uses methane gas produced by decomposing trash to power four Caterpillar engines, which generate electric power that flows into the grid. Using the methane produced by decomposing trash to create electricity means this greenhouse gas is used and not flared or emitted to the atmosphere.

“Renewable energy from fuel sources such as landfill gas is considered cleaner than conventional sources of electricity and has a reduced environmental impact,” said Joel Jansen, asset development leader for Integrys Energy Services.

According to Integrys, the green power generated at the Winnebago Energy Center is annually equivalent to taking 56,000 cars off the road, planting 76,000 acres of trees or powering 5,000 homes. Methane generation from the landfill is fairly constant, unlike other renewable sources that are dependent on local wind or solar resources. And according to Integrys, the plant has potential for expansion up to 8 megawatts.