South Africa’s first independent landfill gas project comes online

South Africa's first independent landfill gas-to-power project has begun generation in Johannesburg, providing 3MW of renewable electricity to supply more than 5,500 homes.

Project developer Energy Systems has started operation at the Robinson Deep landfill site in Johannesburg, launching the first stage of a £7.2 million (€8.5m) investment in five landfill gas generation plants.

Energy Systems is the majority shareholder in the investment project - the largest of its kind ever developed in South Africa – together with state-owned Central Energy Fund (SOE) and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) company Secure Rock Enterprises.

Local communities will benefit from a 2.5% profit share in the five facilities via Energy Systems' Community Educational Trust.

The project has taken eight years to develop and the City Council of Johannesburg has been a joint partner throughout.

The Council will share in revenue generated via a 20-year power sale agreement with Eskom, which will sell the power into the distribution network.

The five facilities will produce a maximum of 11MW of renewable energy, which could reduce the city's carbon footprint by approximately 459,034 tonnes per year by replacing electricity generated from fossil fuels.

These CO2 savings equate to the environmental benefit of removing more than 153,000 cars from the roads, or the amount of CO2 that would be offset by a 434,524 acre forest.

Further plans

A second phase of future development could increase capacity and renewable energy output at three active landfill sites.

This is South Africa's first and only landfill gas generation project to achieve success in the Department of Energy’s Renewable Electricity Independent Power Procurement Program (REIPPP).

A second facility is scheduled to open at Goudkoppies in March 2017, which will supply 2-3MW of green power.

This will be followed by a 2-3MW plant at Marie Louise, and a 1MW at Ennerdale, and finally the 1MW Linbro Park facility, tentatively scheduled for completion in 2018.

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