Alaska's first landfill gas-to-energy plant operating

By GE Energy | August 02, 2012

Doyon Utilities LLC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the opening of the first landfill-gas-to-energy project in Alaska, which is powered by GE’s ecomagination-qualified Jenbacher gas engines. Located on the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, a joint U.S. Army and Air Force base, the project will provide approximately half of JBER–Richardson’s 13 MW peak demand power.

“Beginning in 2013, federal agencies will be required to use renewable energy sources to provide at least 7.5 percent of total electric consumption,” said Dan Gavora, CEO of Doyon Utilities LLC. “GE’s technology allows us to turn landfill gas (methane) into an energy source for the U.S. military base and also into a revenue stream for the municipal utility, which currently flares the gas instead of selling it. In addition, the plant will help the military improve its energy security and move closer to its renewable energy target.”

Doyon will own and operate the facility and will buy the gas produced for at least the next 20 years, with an option for an extension to 40 years, under the agreement with the municipality. According to military officials, the power produced will offset what the military would have to buy from the municipality, which will add up to more than $30 million in savings over the life of the project.

The Anchorage Regional Landfill, which opened in 1987, has the capacity to hold 40 million cubic yards of waste. Currently one-third full, the landfill will likely reach capacity around 2045. As the landfill grows, so will the opportunity to increase the LFGTE plant’s capacity.

“This project with Doyon Utilities is another example of how GE’s Jenbacher gas engines are supporting distributed power projects around the world,” said Roger George, regional sales leader, Gas Engines for North America. “Our Jenbacher gas engines provide the fuel flexibility needed to accommodate the use of alternative fuels such as landfill gas while offering high levels of electrical efficiency.”

Western Energy Systems (WES), GE’s authorized distributor for Jenbacher gas engines in Alaska, provided the four Jenbacher J420 engine-generator sets and integrated these with balance of plant equipment required for a successful installation. WES provided project management services for all equipment provided, performed commissioning services, and has opened a product support facility in Anchorage with technicians and parts inventory committed to support this project.