Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments

Using Landfill Gas to Provide Energy to the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center

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Albuquerque, New Mexico

Federal Funding: $500,000
Project Timeline: July 2010 – June 2013

Project Summary

The City of Albuquerque developed a pipeline that transports natural gas from the City’s Cerro Colorado landfill to Bernalillo County’s Metropolitan Detention Center, where it fires the facility's heating and hot water boilers. The City secured a design-build contractor that finished construction activities, including digging trenches and laying pipeline from the landfill to the detention center that was completed in June 2013. The project built a gas line from the gas control and collection system (GCCS) to the nearby county detention center. The facility’s six boilers were modified to use landfill gas, starting with three of the boilers, with more to be fired as the landfill expands. The City also developed a public education strategy, targeting the general public, green entrepreneurs, and governmental agencies. The emphasis is on renewable energy, green technologies, public empowerment, and sustainability in public-private partnerships.

The City developed the following documents: Integrity Management Plan, Emergency Response Plan, Operator Qualifications Plan, and Public Awareness Plan.

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Community Characteristics

Population:                                508,000

Area:                                        181 square miles

Government Type:                     City

Community Type:                       Urban

Median Household Income:         $45,962

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Final Results

Projected Cumulative Results

Annual GHG Reductions

55,400 mt CO2e

44,400 mt CO2e

Renewable Energy Generation

400 standard cubic feet/ minute (scfm) of landfill gas (12.1 MMBTUs/ hour)

8.7 MMBTUs/hour

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Lessons Learned

Initially, Albuquerque had issues with obtaining and maintaining adequate temperatures to heat the domestic water. They city remedied the issue with the addition of a butterfly valve.

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  • The City secured a contractor early in the process
  • It was helpful to the project’s feasibility to locate a federal funding source
  • Developing and implementing a public education strategy bolstered support for the project

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Project Websites

The City of Albuquerque's Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project

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