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GE Jenbacher Engines Power One of California's Largest Landfill Plants

Posted on July 1, 2009

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. 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.

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 onsite 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 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. For example, the Ox Mountain project is serving as a model for GE’s pre-combustion “Temperature Swing Adsorber” (TSA) activated carbon gas-cleaning technology. The TSA system can remove harmful contaminants before they can damage gas engine components, making larger landfill gas projects economically more viable. The TSA system’s introduction helps the renewable energy industry address one of the key technical challenges preventing the development of more large-scale U.S. landfill biogas projects.

The output of the plant is enough to provide electrical power for 7,500 to 10,000 average U.S. 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.

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