News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Palo Alto Adds More Renewable Energy to Its Supply
Purchases Electricity from Keller Canyon Landfill Gas Project
Contact : Linda Clerkson, Public Communications Manager, City Manager's Office    650-329-2656
Palo Alto, CA —The dedication of the Keller Canyon Landfill gas-to-electricity project marks the second time this year that Republic Services, Inc. and Ameresco have partnered to develop and expand renewable energy sources for California and sell power to the municipal utilities run by the cities of Palo Alto and Alameda. 

"This is California’s newest clean, renewable energy source and it will help the state meet its recent commitment to increase its renewable energy portfolio standard," said Jeff Andrews, senior vice president West Region, Republic Services, Inc. “This project, once again, demonstrates Republic’s leadership in generating renewable energy from solid waste.” 

Ameresco, the nation’s largest independent energy services company, designed and built the landfill gas-to-energy plant. Using engines from General Electric, the facility generates approximately 3.8 megawatts of electricity, enough to power nearly 2,200 homes. The electricity will be used by the cities of Alameda and Palo Alto.

By using the landfill gas for this beneficial reuse project and replacing fossil fuels, the direct and avoided emissions are equivalent to removing 30,000 cars from the road. To have the same effect, you would have to plant more than 36,000 acres of pine or fir trees.

Landfill gas, which is created when organic material in a municipal solid waste landfill decomposes, consists of about 50 percent methane. It is a readily available, local alternative energy source that offsets the need for fossil fuels. The gas can be converted and used in many ways: to generate electricity, heat or steam; or as an alternative vehicle fuel.

“Palo Alto is currently purchasing about 18 percent of its electricity from qualifying renewable sources including 1.5 percent of its electricity from this new plant,” said City of Palo Alto Council Member Yiaway Yeh. “The completion of the Keller Canyon Landfill gas project moves us another step closer to reaching our locally-adopted Renewable Portfolio Standard target of 33 percent qualifying renewables in our electric portfolio by the year 2015.”

Landfill gas-to-energy projects are win-win opportunities for all parties involved, whether they are the landfill owner/operators, the local utility, the local government, or the surrounding community. 

 Including Keller Canyon, Republic has gas-to-energy projects at seven California landfills which produce approximately 30 megawatts of electricity, or enough to meet the needs of nearly 18,000 homes. The landfill gas project is one of Republic Services’ 76 alternative energy projects at their landfills nationwide.  
The Keller Canyon Landfill, which is owned and operated by Republic’s subsidiary, Allied Waste, opened in 1992 and is one of the main recipients of refuse from residents and businesses in the area. The landfill covers 2,600 acres of land and supports 7.21 acres of wetlands. The objective of the wetlands project is to increase the total amount of available habitat on the property by constructing new wetlands and enhancing existing wetland and riparian habitat. The landfill employs more than 20 area residents.