Calabasas Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility

Renewable Energy
Distributed Generation

Calabasas Landfill

3 Solar Mercury 50 Gas Turbine-Generator

Landfill Gas Fuels 7 MW of "Green Power" to
Southern California

5300 Lost Hills Road
Agoura, California 91301


Due to soil conditions and collection requirements at the Calabasas Landfill, the methane content of the landfill gas has historically been too low for cost-effective power production by existing power production technologies. In 2004, Solar Turbines, Inc., (Solar) introduced the low-emission, high-efficiency Mercury 50 turbine-generators for the natural gas market. Sanitation Districts’ engineers recognized the potential of this unit for landfill gas applications, and persuaded Solar’s application personnel to develop a model of the Mercury 50 that could be fired on landfill gas. Project analyses indicated that a commercially viable plant could be developed, and the design of a project was initiated.


The Calabasas Landfill is located on 510 acres with 305 acres designated for refuse disposal. The landfill is owned by Los Angeles County and operated by the Sanitation Districts. The landfill began operation in 1961 and has an excess of 20 million tons of refuse in place. The landfill has an expected remaining life of 30 years at the present disposal rate of 700 tons per day.


The Sanitation Districts developed, designed, and constructed the power project known as the Calabasas Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility (Facility) located at the Calabasas Landfill. The project is among the first commercial installations of the Solar Mercury 50 gas turbine on low BTU landfill gas. The landfill is active and produces approximately 4,500 scfm of landfill gas at 30 percent methane.

The Facility consists of three Solar Mercury 50 gas turbine-generator (CTG) sets, 13.8 kV AC, 60 Hz, 3-phase each rated at 4.6 MW output (gross). The three CTGs are based loaded and produce 7 MW (net) of electricity that will be sold to the California Independent System Operator grid through the Southern California Edison (SCE) distribution system.  Power is delivered to SCE’s system at 16kV voltage.


The Mercury 50's emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) are 7-10 parts per per million (ppm), compared to the previous standard of 25 ppm.  These results will be used to create a new lower standard.


The Facility provides stable, low cost power to Sanitation Districts’ facilities and/or to the utility grid system under power purchase agreements that began in the summer of 2010. Substantial revenues and electricity savings for the Sanitation Districts should continue for 20 or more years.  The environmental benefits include a reduction of greenhouse emissions and demonstration of new technology within NOx emissions less than half the previous standard.