Tucson, AZ, Nov. 29, 2005 — Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has avoided burning more than 100,000 tons of coal through a system that generates power from waste gas extracted from a local landfill.
TEP passed the milestone this fall as its landfill gas program entered its seventh year of operation. The system captures methane gas from the city of Tucson’s Los Reales landfill and carries it through a 3.5-mile pipeline to TEP’s H. Wilson Sundt generating station, where it is burned along with coal in the boiler of Unit 4. The landfill gas displaces the burning of additional coal, with a cleaner burning fuel, to meet customer demand for electricity.
TEP has generated up to 5.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity in an hour from landfill gas, enough to serve about 5,500 homes. By offsetting the use of coal, the system also reduces fossil fuel emissions from Sundt Generating Station.
Since the system began operating in August 1999, it has reduced sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 870 tons while avoiding the production of more than 145,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
The landfill gas-to-energy system is the first of its kind for a commercial facility in Arizona. The project is a joint venture among TEP, the city of Tucson and U.S. Energy, which operates the methane delivery system at the city’s 370-acre landfill.