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Microturbine technology at Glenmore Landfill

Microturbine technology at landfill

Mayor Walter Gray (r) and Mark Watt, Environment and Solid Waste Manager, officially launched the microturbine pilot project at the Glenmore Landfill on June 21, 2005, making the City of Kelowna the first in the province to convert landfill gas to electricity using this technology. The microturbine is connected to a series of horizontal pipes placed underneath the solid waste. The pipes collect landfill gas created from decomposing waste, and direct it through the microturbine which burns the gas and generates electricity.

The electricity created by the microturbine will be used to power landfill operations.  Excess power will be sold to FortisBC at five cents per kWh during the three year pilot project. Over the next three years the landfill gas will be carefully monitored for quality and quantity.

In early 2003, horizontal landfill gas collection pipes were installed to collect the gas. In December 2005, an eight-metre tall, high-volume utility flare was installed at the landfill. This flare, as well as a second, smaller flare, will burn the collected landfill gas not used in the microturbine. These efforts, coupled with the microturbine, will mean virtually all greenhouse gas emissions and other air contaminants will be eliminated from the landfill. Previously, the gas dissipated ambiently.

The microturbine is on lease from the Canmet Energy Technology Centre (a division of Natural Resources Canada) at $10/year. Only 6 per cent of the available landfill gas will be tapped during this pilot project; however over the next several years the City could add more turbines as plans call for a staged increase in the pipe collection network.

Start-up costs were approximately $15,000 and it will cost approximately $20,000 to run the pilot project each of the three years. These costs are expected to be off-set by power savings and electricity sales to FortisBC.

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