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Decommissioned US landfill to be transformed into methane-fuelled power station

California canyon to become showcase bioenergy facility using methane to power local homes and clean up air

Methane gas produced from the old landfill site will help power up to 2000 homes
Methane gas produced from the old landfill site will help power up to 2000 homes

A decommissioned landfill is being turned into a methane-fuelled power station as part of a major renewable energy project in the US. The Santiago Canyon landfill in Orange Country, California, which closed in the late 1980s, is being transformed into a power station that will run on methane gas to clean up polluted air and provide power to local homes.

Firm Flex OC Renewables, a subsidiary of Californian company FlexEnergy Inc, will build the power station. It will run on methane produced by decomposing waste in the landfill.

The power station is being built as part of the Santiago Canyon project, which aims to turn the landfill into a source of renewable energy that will provide methane-based power to homes in the area.

Once completed, later this year, it will supply an estimated 1.5MW of power to the local area, enough to power 1,500 to 2,000 homes.

The project will also progress Orange County’s adaptation to new air quality standards for waste gas emissions, which will take effect in 2013.

Since the landfill closed in 1988, waste has burned off the methane released by its decomposition, releasing the pollutant into the atmosphere. Flex OC Renewables will use its turbine technology to destroy the methane and produce energy.

The company says its Flex Powerstation FP250 turbines will transform the gas from an air pollutant into a source of clean energy. They will operate at a temperature that will prevent the creation of harmful elements such as nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Joseph Perry, FlexEnergy CEO, said: “By installing the Flex Powerstation FP250 power generation system, we will be able to beneficially reuse landfill gas to generate a source of revenue and renewable energy.”

“We expect Santiago Canyon to become a showcase facility that will enable Orange County to continue its leadership in clean technology, create jobs, improve our environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” he added.