Greenpower to Come from L.A. Landfill Gas

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is installing the largest landfill gas system of its kind.

LOS ANGELES, California, US, 2001-09-06 [] The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is installing the largest landfill gas system of its kind. Capstone California, a subsidiary of Capstone Turbine, says the installation at the Los Angeles Lopez Canyon landfill will use 50 microturbines to generate green power for 1,500 homes. “The microturbine project will create energy from an innovative source and help reduce pollution,” says David Wiggs, LADWP general manager. The project is a partnership between the agency and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which is the air pollution control agency for southern California that covers half of the state’s population of 15 million. Funds come from a LADWP commitment to spend $14 million on clean air projects in exchange for the right to exceed state air pollution limits while generating power for California’s energy market. The transformation of landfill methane gas into energy will eliminate 10,000 pounds of NOx emissions annually, or the equivalent of removing 500 cars from California highways. “This project is an example of how we as regulators are able to balance air quality requirements with economic needs during these challenging times,” says William Burke, chairman of SCAQMD. Capstone’s microturbine systems are emerging as a practical and cost-effective technology for North American biogas applications, from landfills to wastewater treatment plants and anaerobic digesters, explains the company’s Bob Fleet, project lead for the Lopez Canyon installation. Capstone has 100 microturbines in place for biogas applications across North America. The units use scaled-down jet engine technology to generate electricity from a variety of gaseous and liquid fuels, including propane, natural gas, diesel, kerosene and biogas. They are 90 percent cleaner than a diesel generator, says Capstone, and fall below the low emission standards set by SCAQMD for an ultra-clean generator.