Thousands of Bay Area homes powered by landfill gas
Pittsburg, CA - The dedication of the Keller Canyon Landfill gas-to-electricity project marks the second time this year that Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG) and Ameresco have partnered to develop and expand renewable energy sources for California and to provide power to residents of and businesses in Palo Alto and Alameda.
“This is California’s newest clean, renewable energy source and it will help the state meet its recent commitment to increase its renewable energy portfolio standard,” said Jeff Andrews, senior vice president West Region, Republic Services, Inc. “This project, once again, demonstrates Republic’s leadership in generating renewable energy from solid waste.”
Ameresco, the nation’s largest independent energy services company, designed and built the landfill gas-to-energy plant. Using engines from General Electric, the facility generates approximately 3.8 megawatts of electricity, enough to power nearly 2,200 homes. The electricity will be used by the cities of Alameda and Palo Alto.
By using the landfill gas for this beneficial reuse project and replacing fossil fuels, the direct and avoided emissions are equivalent to removing 30,000 cars from the road. To have the same effect, you would have to plant more than 36,000 acres of pine or fir trees.
“At Ameresco we believe that providing viable alternative energy options is key to our communities’ cleaner future and the reduction of our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Michael Bakas, Ameresco’s vice president of Renewable Energy. “This project, along with our other project efforts, increases our California-based renewable energy capacity to nearly 40 megawatts. I applaud our partners for their clear focus and dedication to make a positive impact on the environment.” Landfill gas, which is created when organic material in a municipal solid waste landfill decomposes, consists of about 50 percent methane. It is a readily available, local alternative energy source that offsets the need for fossil fuels. The gas can be converted and used in many ways: to generate electricity, heat or steam; or as an alternative vehicle fuel.
“The landfill-gas-to-energy project at Keller Canyon allows us to offer our customers yet another carbon-free source of power and continue our quarter-century commitment to renewable energy,” said Gregory Hamm, Ph.D., P.E., president of the City of Alameda Public Utilities Board.
“Palo Alto is currently purchasing about 18 percent of its electricity from qualifying renewable sources including 1.5 percent of its electricity from this new plant,” said City of Palo Alto Council Member Yiaway Yeh. “The completion of the Keller Canyon Landfill gas project moves us another step closer to reaching our locally-adopted Renewable Portfolio Standard target of 33 percent qualifying renewables in our electric portfolio by the year 2015.”
Landfill gas-to-energy projects are win-win opportunities for all parties involved, whether they are the landfill owner/operators, the local utility, the local government, or the surrounding community.
Including Keller Canyon, Republic has gas-to-energy projects at seven California landfills which produce approximately 30 megawatts of electricity, or enough to meet the needs of nearly 18,000 homes. The landfill gas project is one of Republic Services’ 76 alternative energy projects at their landfills nationwide.
“GE is pleased to supply its Jenbacher technology to support Ameresco's landfill gas-to-energy project at Keller Canyon, which we believe will help pave the way for many other larger-scale landfill gas projects within the US," said Roger George, General Manager for GE's Jenbacher gas engine business in North America.
The Keller Canyon Landfill, which is owned and operated by Republic’s subsidiary, Allied Waste, opened in 1992 and is one of the main recipients of refuse from residents and businesses in the area. The landfill covers 2,600 acres of land and supports 7.21 acres of wetlands. The objective of the wetlands project is to increase the total amount of available habitat on the property by constructing new wetlands and enhancing existing wetland and riparian habitat. The landfill employs more than 20 area residents.
Republic will also host a community event at the landfill on Saturday, October 3 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Area residents are invited to participate in a picnic, family activities and tours of the landfill and gas plant.
About Republic Services
Republic Services is a leading provider of solid waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services. Allied Waste merged with Republic Services in December 2008. The company provides trash collection services to commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers in 40 states and Puerto Rico through its 400 collection companies. Republic Services owns or operates 242 transfer stations, 213 solid waste landfills and 78 recycling facilities. The company is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona and has 34,000 employees. For more information, visit the Republic Services Web site at www.republicservices.com.
Ameresco is the largest independent energy service company in North America. In addition to its expertise in developing landfill gas projects and other renewable energy sources, Ameresco has two other energy service lines—energy conservation and energy risk mitigation. The company has more than 550 employees in 50 regional offices throughout North America, and it has constructed more than $4 billion in energy projects throughout the world. Learn more at www.ameresco.com.
Release Date: 10/1/2009