Gas generated by the decomposition of trash at Puente Hills landfill is now being used as a fuel to generate enough electricity to serve 70,000 homes, the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County announced at ceremonies dedicating the landfill's new $28-million power plant.
The landfill gas is collected from a system of 142 wells and piped to the plant, where the gas is burned to create steam to turn a steam turbine. The turbine produces 45 megawatts of electricity, which is sold to Southern California Edison Co. under a 30-year agreement. The new plant replaces a gas turbine system that had generated only 3 megawatts.
Charles W. Carry, general manager of the Sanitation Districts, said the sale of electricity will earn the districts about $24 million a year, or about twice the cost of running the system and paying for it through a lease-purchase arrangement.