MCE and Waste Management’s Redwood Landfill in California celebrated the opening of a new landfill gas-to-energy plant that will generate enough renewable electricity to provide service to more than 5,000 MCE customers in Marin and Napa Counties, and the cities of Benicia, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Richmond, San Pablo and Walnut Creek.
“We’re proud to be working with Waste Management to offer our customers renewable energy that’s generated locally,” MCE CEO Dawn Weisz said in a statement. “This type of innovation and ingenuity complements our intermittent renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, to put more pollution-free power on the grid around the clock. Renewable technologies such as this landfill gas-to-energy plant help us achieve our mission to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while providing local economic and workforce benefits.”
The new plant closes the loop on waste by turning landfill gas, which was previously flared, into electricity. Methane gas produced by Marin’s trash at the Redwood Landfill powers two reciprocating engines that generate 3.9 megawatts of electricity. The plant is outfitted with an emissions system, with sophisticated scrubbers and exhaust mechanisms to minimize emissions.
“At $14.5 million, the plant demonstrates Waste Management’s investment not only in Marin County, it also underscores our dedication to finding environmentally sustainable solutions to our operations,” Paul Pabor, Waste Management vice president of renewable energy, said in a statement. “Waste Management estimates that this renewable energy power plant will eliminate 8,900 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s meaningful to contribute to MCE’s renewable energy portfolio by generating power for customers even when the sun has gone down and there’s no wind producing electricity.”
In addition to the power plant, Redwood Landfill is home to a covered, aerated static pile composting facility, producing a natural fertilizer that is used for organic farming. The landfill recycles almost half of all materials brought to the facility, and it donated 180 acres of its property to the Marin Audubon Society for wetlands restoration.