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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

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Project Profile

Ox Mountain Landfill Gas Electricity Project

LMOP Award Winner
Location:
Half Moon Bay, California
End User(s):
Alameda Municipal Power, City of Palo Alto
Sector(s):
Utility
Landfill(s):
Ox Mountain Sanitary Landfill
Landfill Size:
9.13 million tons waste-in-place (2001)
Project Type:
Reciprocating Engine (six GE Jenbacher JGS 616 GS-LL engines)
Project Size:
11.4 megawatts (MW)
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 11,200 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 10,000 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 121,800 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 6,700 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0143 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Alameda Municipal Power, Ameresco, Inc., City of Palo Alto, GE Energy - Jenbacher Gas Engines, Republic Services, Inc., Western Energy Systems
Last Updated:
7/15/2010

Photo of building that houses six LFG-fired reciprocating engines in a nonattainment area of California.

Obtaining air permits for six reciprocating engines in a scenic nonattainment area of California seemed like an impossible task. But after two years of aggressive pursuit, project developer Ameresco secured the permits, leading to one of the largest landfill gas (LFG) electricity projects in the country. Each year, the 11.4-MW project is expected to power up to 10,000 homes in the cities of Palo Alto and Alameda.

The project helped two municipal utilities—Alameda Municipal Power and the City of Palo Alto—meet renewable energy goals. By sharing the power generated by several LFG electricity projects, both utilities far exceed California's renewable portfolio standard requirement of 33 percent by 2020. Alameda purchases 85 percent of its power from renewable energy sources. The two utilities share renewable energy from the following landfills:

  • Ox Mountain LFG energy project (11.4 MW)
  • Buena Vista LFG energy project (3.18 MW)
  • Keller Canyon LFG energy project (3.8 MW)

The project serves as a model for technology that is expected to facilitate development of more large-scale LFG energy projects. The pre-combustion temperature swing adsorption (TSA) technology uses activated carbon to remove harmful contaminants before they can damage engine components, thus reducing maintenance and repairs, and making large-scale projects more economically viable.

The project earned recognition as a 2009 LMOP Project of the Year. For several years, the two municipal utilities have worked with project developer Ameresco to actively pursue local LFG opportunities. Previous accomplishments earned the utilities recognition as LMOP's 2007 Energy Partners of the Year.

Making use of this renewable energy resource reduces the amount of market power we have to purchase, which reduces the need for fossil fuel-powered electric generation in California. By burning methane, which is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, this project has the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill. —Peter Drekmeier, former Mayor of the City of Palo Alto

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