Mexico landfill gas project powers Nissan manufacturing plant

By Lisa Gibson | April 26, 2012

U.K. renewable energy company Ener-g Natural Power and its sister company Biogas Technology are generating clean electricity from landfill gas in Mexico, for use at Nissan’s vehicle manufacturing site in Aguascalientes.

Ener-g has partnered with Central Mexico’s Municipality of Aguascalientes on the project, the country’s first landfill gas capture facility. The power is being sold over a long-term power purchase agreement with Nissan. The 42-hectare (104 acre) landfill site, owned by the Municipality of Aguascalientes, has been operating for 10 years and holds 3.9 million tons of household, commercial and industrial waste.

The project will help Mexico reach the goals outlined in its Climate Change Act, which mandates the country cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2020, 50 percent below current levels by 2050, and generate 35 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2024. It is the first project of its kind for Nissan in the world, according to Ener-g. The Nissan manufacturing facility, which makes March, Versa and Sentra cars, receives 2.475 MW of clean energy from the project, enough to produce 37,000 vehicles per year.

Ener-g Natural Power installed two 1.6 MW biogas generators as part of a six-month build program. The electricity is transported 20 kilometers via overhead lines through a supply contract with the Federal Commission of Electricity. Because of  thin air at the high altitude at the site,  Ener-g Natural  Power  was required to install an oversized 3.2 MW system to achieve the desired capacity of 2.5 MW. The biogas supply is expected to last at least 15 years.

"This ambitious project is converting damaging greenhouse gases into renewable power that is benefiting Mexico's successful car industry, providing valuable income for the Municipality of Aquascalientes, and benefiting the environment,” said Hugh Richmond, managing director of Ener-g Natural Power.  “We are very proud to work with our sister company Biogas Technology to invest in Mexico's next generation renewable technology and to help the government to deliver on legally binding targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through its ambitious new Climate Change Act . We have ambitions to build more of these plants in Mexico to match the strong desire and commitment by the Mexico Government for investment in renewables."