Burbank's Landfill Gas Installation
550 Kilowatts of Green Power Produced from Landfill Gases
At the height of California's 2001 energy crisis, the City of Burbank proudly unveiled a mini-power plant at Burbank's landfill. Using naturally occurring landfill gases, Burbank hit the books as the world's first commercial Capstone microturbine installation running on landfill gas. When the switch was flipped on the ten microturbines located at the landfill, Burbank began producing 300 kilowatts of renewable energy. That's enough energy to serve the daily needs of about 250 homes.
Some of the ten original Capstone microturbines.
Another renewable energy achievement has been made by Burbank with the installation of a 250-kilowatt microturbine at the landfill. This project is a joint endeavor of Burbank Water and Power and the City of Burbank's Public Works Department.
With this expansion of the landfill microturbine project, Burbank affirms its' commitment to renewable energy and environmental stewardship.
Gas that is naturally produced at the landfill as trash and waste decomposes is used as the fuel source to generate the electricity. As with 2001, when Burbank used ground-breaking microturbine technology, Burbank has once again employed cutting edge technology. And, once again, we have entered the record books: this Ingersoll-Rand microturbine is the very first of its kind running in the world!
Burbank's landfill is located in the Verdugo Mountains in the northeastern portion of the City. As the site is estimated to be an active landfill for the next 50 years or more, the City of Burbank didn't want to waste any opportunities with a guaranteed and free fuel source. The expansion project also adds two new compressor units to work in tandem with all eleven landfill microturbines. Having two compressors available for use is an operational practice that ensures on-going reliability for production of the 550 kilowatts of green power.
Generating electricity from renewable fuel sources, such as landfill gas, is an important goal for Burbank Water and Power. As committed to in the City's Renewable Portfolio Standard, Burbank Water and Power is striving for 20% of the power used by Burbank's residents and businesses to come from renewable sources by 2017.
Burbank is extremely proud of this green energy project. Already, the site has been toured by officials from as far away as Dade County, Florida, who are interested in developing similar projects. The project has also received financial backing from the State of California. Burbank applied for a grant from the California Energy Commission and was awarded $450,000. This grant covered 41% of the total $1.1 million project cost.
With a total production capability of 550 kilowatts, Burbank's complement of landfill microturbines can power the needs of about 500 Burbank homes, day in and day out. And that power is from a renewable source, so the environment wins as well. Before the microturbines were installed, all the landfill gas produced at the site was flared. Now, Burbank burns that fuel to create electricity. According to Ronald E. Davis, General Manager of Burbank Water and Power, "This is a wonderful project. Providing clean energy from a free source of energy is almost too good to be true."
Rick Owen next to an open Capstone unit.