Equipment & Technology, North America, Renewables

Gas engines generate electricity at California landfill site

One of California’s most powerful landfill gas-to-energy projects to open in the last five years has started supplying renewable electricity to the San Francisco Bay region. The output of the plant will be sold to existing customers and project partners, the City of Palo Alto and the City of Alameda.

Built by energy developer Ameresco, the 11.5 MW biogas plant is located at the Ox Mountain Landfill, which is owned and operated by Republic Services and located in Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County. The biogas plant is powered by GE Energy’s ecomagination-certified Jenbacher landfill gas engines.

Inside the plant, six of GE Energy’s Jenbacher JGS 616 GS-L.L generator sets are using the landfill’s methane-rich gas to generate renewable electricity 24 hours a day. A portion of the electricity is being used to support the landfill’s on-site operations, while surplus power is sold to the cities of Palo Alto and Alameda to support the Bay region’s renewable energy goals.

The Ox Mountain plant is one of about 540 new ‘candidate’ projects identified by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP). It also is one of 75 alternative energy projects at Republic Services’ landfills nationwide.

‘GE is pleased to supply its Jenbacher technologies to support Ameresco’s showcase landfill gas-to-energy project at Ox Mountain, which we believe will help pave the way for many other larger-scale landfill gas projects,’ said Roger George, general manager for GE’s Jenbacher gas engine business in North America.

The Ox Mountain project will add substantial capacity to Ameresco’s power generation portfolio in an emission-restricted area of California through the use of new technologies designed to make landfill gas projects more economically attractive, George noted.

Northeast Energy Systems and Western Energy Systems, a distributor of GE’s Jenbacher engines, helped supply the Jenbacher engines for the Ox Mountain project. More than 1,300 Jenbacher landfill gas engines have been installed throughout the world, generating an estimated 1,300 MW, says the company.