Republic Services opens 2 landfill gas-to-energy projects

By Republic Services Inc. | October 02, 2014

Republic Services Inc. has announced its latest landfill gas-to-energy (LGTE) projects involving its Forward and Vasco Road Landfills, both located in the Bay Area of California. The combined projects will generate 8.6 megawatts of energy for the local electric grid, or enough energy to power more than 5,100 area homes annually.

"Today represents a major milestone for clean, renewable energy in the state of California," said Kevin Basso, general manager of Republic Services' Forward Landfill. "This project was made possible by long-established relationships and strong community partnerships between Republic Services, Ameresco, and multiple agencies and local leaders. It is a testament to this community's commitment to sustainability, and to leaving a cleaner and healthier Bay Area for future generations."

Landfill gas is a natural byproduct of decomposing waste. These projects involve extracting gas from within each landfill, processing the extracted gas, and then distributing the processed gas to a generator where it is converted into energy that supplies the local electric grid.

According to the U.S. EPA, LGTE projects reduce reliance on non-renewable energy resources, such as coal or petroleum. The EPA estimates that 8.6 megawatts of energy produced from landfill gas is equivalent to removing carbon emissions from 47.6 million gallons of gasoline consumed.

"These projects will create meaningful economic and environmental benefits in San Joaquin County," said Bob Elliott, District 5 supervisor on the Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. "These projects stand to improve our local economy by bringing family wage jobs to our county, and helping to protect the local agriculture community." 

Republic Services partnered with Ameresco Inc. on the design, development and management of the new projects. Republic Services and Ameresco have partnered on seven other projects nationwide, generating more than 65 MW of power.

"Republic Services is to be applauded for having the foresight to help advance both the Vasco Road Landfill and Forward Landfill projects to help meet their economic and sustainability goals through the measurable financial and energy benefits these initiatives provide," said Michael Bakas, senior vice president of Ameresco. "In order to bring these projects to fruition, Ameresco partnered once again with Silicon Valley Power, a very progressive utility determined to provide the residents and local business community with clean energy at affordable prices. We are fortunate to have the citizens of Santa Clara as clients and look forward to serving them with energy from this new renewable resource."

Republic Services operates 72 LGTE projects nationwide. These projects harness enough electricity to meet the needs of 192,000 homes, or gas to heat another 201,000 homes. According to the EPA, the landfill gas that is captured and reused is equivalent to removing more than 4 million cars from the road or planting more than 4.5 million acres of trees.