GE Energy’s gas engines generating electricity at landfill gas-to-energy plant

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 as the state continues implementing new anti-greenhouse gas initiatives.

The output of the plant is enough to provide electrical power for 7,500 to 10,000 average homes and will be sold to existing customers and project partners, the City of Palo Alto and the City of Alameda. The plant is twice as powerful as other landfill gas projects in northern California.

Built by energy developer Ameresco Inc., 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 new biogas project reduces the need for Ameresco and the local governments to purchase energy from traditional fossil fuel power plants. Also, by capturing and using landfill gas to generate electricity, less of the gas needs to be flared into the atmosphere.

The Ox Mountain plant is one of about 540 new “candidate” United States projects identified by the LMOP program. It also is one of 75 alternative energy projects at Republic Services’ landfills nationwide.