The world’s landfills are generally the final resting place for food waste and objects that can’t be recycled, however General Electric is looking to change that in Chile. At the nation’s largest landfill, the Loma Los Colorados Landfill, the energy company is looking to install six GE Jenbacher specialty gas engines as part of an 8.4 MW expansion of the site’s existing biogas energy plant. The expansion will use the gas of the landfill to create enough energy to support 75,000 homes in Chile.
Located 63 km northwest of Santiago, the landfill is home to around 60 percent of the capital city’s solid waste. The plant’s expansion, known as ‘Lomas Los Colorados II,’ will see the addition of six 1.4 MW ecomagination-qualified J420 Jenbacher units, which will run adjacent to the seven existing Jenbacher engines already at the site.
The upgrade will enter commercial service between 2012 and 2014, in line with landfill gas production, and it is expected to generate a total of 18 MW — enough to support the needs of about 75,000 homes in Chile. In addition to the Jenbacher gas engines, GE will be providing a master engine control system to help the operator achieve maximum availability and efficiency from the generating equipment.
“We are very excited to build on the success we have had with our Loma Los Colorados landfill gas-to-energy project, which is serving as an important renewable energy model for the region as Chile looks to diversify its energy mix,” said Sergio Durandeau, general manager of KDM Energía, which owns the landfill and the power plant.
Rafael Santana, CEO of Gas Engines, GE Energy said: “As Chile and more countries around the world look to recycle their own existing waste streams into new sources of renewable energy, GE’s proven Jenbacher and Waukesha distributed power solutions are helping customers meet their environmental and economic priorities by providing operational and fuel flexibility on power generation projects.”
It is not the only regional biogas project that GE is undertaking in the region. In addition to the Loma Los Colorados Landfill project, GE has said another project will benefit from three of its 2.7 MW J620 Jenbacher biogas engines. This project is part of Chilean water utility Aguas Andinas’ wastewater treatment plant expansion and renewable energy project along the Mapocho River near the capital city of Santiago.