Fifty microturbines burn landfill gas in Los Angeles

Methane gas from a closed landfill is fueling a 50-microturbine installation in Los Angeles, the largest known facility of its kind. The facility, a joint venture between the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, began operating Thursday.


By the OGJ Online

HOUSTON, Aug. 16 � Methane gas from a closed landfill is fueling a 50-microturbine installation in Los Angeles, the largest known facility of its kind.

The facility, a joint venture between the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, began operating Thursday. Each turbine generates 30 kw of electricity for a combined total of 1.5 Mw of electricity.

Landfill gas that would otherwise be flared, or burned into the atmosphere, is harnessed via the landfill's piping network. The gas is used to power the microturbines, which in turn generate electricity.

The $4 million project will also eliminate 10,000 lb/year of nitrogen oxide emissions, equal to permanently removing 500 cars from southern California roads, said David H. Wiggs, DWP General Manager.

The microturbines were developed by Capstone Turbine Corp., Chatsworth, Calif. Once the landfill runs out of gas, the turbines can be moved elsewhere, officials said.

Lopez Canyon Landfill is owned by the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation. Funding for the project was the result of an agreement between the DWP and the state Air Quality Management District in which DWP is spending $14 million on clean air projects in exchange for being allowed to exceed state air pollution limits last summer.

Burbank was the first California municipality to use microturbines at a dump, plugging in 10 of them at its Verdugo Mountains landfill a week ago, city officials said. The Los Angeles DWP is the nation's largest municipally owned utility, serves more than 3.8 million people in the city of Los Angeles.

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