Construction begins on California landfill gas expansion project

By Lisa Gibson | January 25, 2011

An expansion of an existing landfill gas-to-energy project in Orange County, Calif., will increase its electricity output from 5 megawatts (MW) to 37.5 MW, all sold to the city of Anaheim Public Utilities for the local grid.

Broadrock Renewables LLC will own and operate the $130 million plant at the Olinda Alpha Landfill in the northern Orange County city of Brea. The project received a $10 million stimulus grant from the U.S. DOE through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to promote increased use of industrial energy efficiency technologies. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Jan. 19 and the facility should be operational by 2012, according to the company.

Upon completion, the facility will be the third-largest landfill gas power plant in the U.S. and will create more than 400 jobs for local workers. Randy Holmes, CEO of Broadrock, said the energy from the facility is a “huge win” for citizens, the community and the environment.

“With the unemployment rate in California well over the national average, this project will create 155 union construction jobs as well as support local suppliers of material and equipment,” said Frank DiCola, president and CEO of project contractor DCO Energy. “DCO Energy is proud to be part of the team that is making this groundbreaking clean energy, economic engine a reality.”

Local officials are also excited about the expansion’s job creation, energy supply and efficiency. “Olinda Alpha Landfill is one of the largest landfills in the western United States,” said Bill Campbell, chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “We are very pleased that our award-winning operations offer opportunities like this—for leading edge technology to parlay our operational expertise in this way. It’s efficient and environmentally friendly.”