Mainspring announces first 100% landfill biogas project in Yolo County, California
Landfill biogas, a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material in landfills, when not controlled, produces significant amounts of methane emissions. Municipal solid waste landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the U.S. These landfills provide an important opportunity to capture and sustainably use this significant energy resource to generate renewable electricity. In turn, this can reduce emissions and prevent methane from migrating into the atmosphere and contributing to local smog and global climate change.
"One big advantage of a fuel-agnostic generator design is the ability to convert biogas from a number of agricultural and waste management operations into useful, renewable electricity," said Shannon Miller, CEO and founder of Mainspring. "We are honoured to be working with an innovative municipality like Yolo County to unlock the potential of Mainspring's technology in this important global use case."
The pilot project will provide important real-world system experience as Yolo County evaluates the fuel-flexible linear generator technology in its biogas system.
"We are excited to partner with Mainspring and continue to demonstrate production of renewable electricity using a new and innovative technology that has the potential to increase efficiency of electricity production and reduce air emissions," said Ramin Yazdani, Director of Integrated Waste Management at Yolo County.
Yolo County Central Landfill (YCCL)
The YCCL has made significant innovative strides over the last 30 years to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill, to capture emissions, and to provide a myriad of recycling and reuse services for the surrounding community.
The YCCL operates with an average annual budget of $39 million that encompasses landfilling operations, green & food waste composting, landfill gas control and electricity production, environmental compliance, capital improvements, and administration. The Mainspring project is the latest in a series of efforts by the YCCL to increase power generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Biogas Systems and the Mainspring Linear Generator
Landfills represent just one type of biogas system. Biogas systems recycle organic waste of many kinds into renewable energy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to the American Biogas Council, the U.S. today has 2,300 biogas-producing sites in 50 states, including landfills, farms, wastewater treatment facilities, and systems that digest food scraps. The U.S. currently has the potential to build 15,000+ new biogas systems, creating an infrastructure capable of producing enough electricity to power nearly 10 million homes.
The Mainspring Linear Generator's fuel-flexible, modular design is ideally suited for biogas system use to help meet this tremendous potential. It is dispatchable so it can ramp up and down with changing power requirements, modular so it can be easily sited and scaled to different capacities, and fuel-flexible to run any gaseous fuel. The fuel flexibility is particularly helpful in biogas operations, as biogas streams and energy content can change over time depending on feedstock variability and ambient conditions.