Major landfill-gas-to-energy project opens in California’s Orange County

A new landfill gas-to-electricity plant at the Frank R. Bowerman landfill, Irvine, California, will power thousands of local homes and businesses, generate millions of dollars in royalties for the Orange County government system and provide other environmental and economic benefits.

“The Bowerman Power facility keeps the county moving in the right direction with additional green energy,” said 3rd District Supervisor Todd Spitzer during a ribbon cutting ceremony in late March. “Powering this plant adds 160,000 megawatt-hours annually to put into the grid, which is enough energy to power 26,000 homes.”

The Bowerman Power Project is Orange County’s third landfill gas-to-energy facility. The other two are Olinda, in Brea and Prima Deshecha in San Juan Capistrano. Together, the three facilities produce approximately 380,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power some 56,000 homes in Southern California.

The $60 million, 113,000-square-foot, facility occupies 2.6 acres of the 725-acre Bowerman Landfill. Financed by Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, the project was developed and is owned and operated by Bowerman Power, a subsidiary of Pennsylvania-based Montauk Energy.

The operation also will prevent approximately 53,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

The Bowerman Power Project is the first to combine three proven technologies in modern renewable energy project meeting all environmental requirements, the company says. It is the largest landfill gas-fueled reciprocating engine project in California and Montauk’s largest power project to date. Moreover, with the completion of this project, all large landfills in California now operate landfill gas-based, renewable energy plants.