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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

Project Profile

Alameda Municipal Power and Palo Alto Landfill Gas Energy Project

LMOP Award Winner
Location:
Watsonville, California
End User(s):
Alameda Municipal Power, City of Palo Alto
Sector(s):
Utility
Landfill(s):
Buena Vista Disposal Site
Landfill Size:
2 million tons waste-in-place (2001)
Project Type:
Reciprocating Engine (three GE-Jenbacher 1,060 kW engines)
Project Size:
3.18 megawatts (MW)
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 3,100 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2,800 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 34,000 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 1,900 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0040 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Alameda Municipal Power, Ameresco, Inc., City of Palo Alto, GE Energy-Jenbacher Gas Engines
Last Updated:
7/15/2010

Photo of employee at Alameda Municipal Power.

When Palo Alto committed to increase the percentage of its electricity load from renewable energy, customers flocked to its green power program. To meet the community's demand and to meet its own green energy goals, Palo Alto teamed with Alameda to pursue landfill gas (LFG) energy projects. Their combined effort earned them recognition as LMOP's 2007 Energy Partners of the Year.

The utilities worked with project developer Ameresco to actively pursue several LFG opportunities in their own backyard. In January 2006, the Buena Vista Landfill project began generating 3.18 MW of green power. The output helped Palo Alto meet its renewable energy goals and added to Alameda's impressive portfolio of 80 percent renewables.

Several LFG energy projects now provide more than 18 MW of renewable energy to these utilities:

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

Both utilities continue their pursuit of renewable energy. Alameda signed an agreement with yet another LFG energy project. Plus, Palo Alto routes LFG from its own landfill to the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control plant. LFG is used for thermal processing of sewage, saving an estimated $250,000 annually versus using natural gas.

Palo Alto's strong environmental ethic...continues today through supporting renewable energy projects like [the Buena Vista Landfill project]. By securing this long-term contract for landfill gas, we can continue to serve our customers reliably and responsibly through our ongoing commitment to clean energy. —Girish Balachandran, former Assistant Director of Resource Management, City of Palo Alto Utilities

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