Cat® gas generator sets consume landfill gas and create 22 mw of power

Converting waste gas into power

Cat® gas generator sets consume landfill gas and create 22 mw of power


The F.R. Bowerman Landfill is one of the largest in the United States. Located in Orange County, California, it contains an estimated 31 million tons of waste. Decomposing solid landfill waste produces high amounts of methane gas that can potentially affect global warming, climate change, ozone depletion, sea level rise, and have a negative impact on biodiversity. In order to better manage and reuse this onsite waste, Montauk Energy worked with their Cat® dealer, Cleveland Brothers, to develop and commission a 113,000 sq. ft. renewable energy power plant to generate electrical power by capturing and conditioning the landfill gas. Seven Cat CG260 generator sets with reciprocating engines were supplied to create 22 MW of electricity. By selecting the large-scale CG260 generator sets, they ultimately required fewer units, lowering installation and maintenance costs. You can find your local Cat dealer here.

Due to the strict emission standards in California, the supplied generator sets feature technology designed to help the operation meet all local, state, and federal air quality requirements. A fuel cleanup system treats the landfill gas to ensure it stays within acceptable limits of the engines, while selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and oxidation catalyst units were installed on each engine exhaust system to specifically reduce NOX, CO2 and VOC emissions. 

“Beyond this essential balance-of-plant equipment, the generator sets are also 
built with drop-over enclosures to dampen noise. It was important to reduce the noise impact on nearby residential neighborhoods,” added Kurt Hertzler of Cleveland Brothers. “The enclosures also allowed us to create a very compact site, which helped. Although the landfill is vast, the space for equipment is actually quite limited.” 

“We’ve had successful gas energy landfill projects in Texas and Oklahoma, but this project was unique not only for its immense size but also for the strict emission requirements in place in California,” said Dave Herrman, CEO and President of Montauk Energy. 

The seven Cat generator sets add 160,000 megawatt hours annually to put into the grid, which is enough energy to power 26,000 homes. In addition, the generator sets and associated emission controls prevent approximately 53,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

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