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Orange County Board of Supervisors Approves High-Tech Renewable Energy Project at Local Landfill

Public-Private-Academic Partnership will Convert Landfill Gas into Clean Power

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County Board of Supervisors today gave a green light to an academic-government-business partnership that will convert landfill gas into clean energy at the closed Santiago Canyon Landfill. In addition to the County’s closed landfill, the partnership includes UC Irvine’s Advanced Power & Energy Program (APEP) and Ener-Core, an Irvine-based company.

“Creating clean energy power from landfill gas is a smart investment that helps the environment and advances science and engineering,” said Board Chairman Todd Spitzer, who has championed renewable energy projects, including the new power plant being built at the County’s Frank R. Bowerman Landfill east of Irvine. “Advancing important technology that helps the environment and potentially generates revenue is the best way for Orange County to do business as a leader in clean energy projects.”

In January 2015, the California Energy Commission awarded a $1.5 million research grant to APEP in partnership with OC Waste & Recycling and equipment manufacturer Ener-Core. The partnership’s task under the grant: install and test a 250 kilowatt ultra-low emissions power plant at the 113-acre landfill adjacent to Irvine Lake.
As proposed, the power plant will use landfill gas created from solid waste decomposition to produce electricity for site operations, which, in turn, will lower the County’s utility bill. Until now the landfill gas at Santiago Canyon has been flared because it could not be used to fuel older technologies.

A key part of the research work will be to demonstrate whether pollution control and power generation for low-quality renewable fuel streams can be efficiently attained using advanced technologies.

If the initiative is successful, the Irvine-based Ener-Core’s thermal oxidizer/micro-turbine system, a patented, state-of-the-art conversion technology, could be retained for long-term operation at the landfill. In addition, the system could be used at other landfills and expanded to other California industries, which would provide numerous environmental and economic benefits for communities statewide.

About the County of Orange and OC Waste & Recycling
The mission of the County of Orange is to make the County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost- effective regional public services. OC Waste & Recycling helps fulfill this mission by meeting the County’s solid waste disposal needs by providing waste management services, protecting the environment, and promoting recycling in order to ensure a safe and healthy community for current and future generations.

OC Waste & Recycling manages one of the nation’s premiere solid waste disposal systems, which serve 34 cities and more than three million residents. The department operates a network of three active landfills and four household hazardous waste collection centers. Visit for more information.

About Advanced Power & Energy Program
The Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) incorporates the National Fuel Cell Research Center and the UCI Combustion Laboratory in to a comprehensive educational and research initiative to address the complex challenges associated with the transformation of energy into productive uses in the context of achieving and maintaining strict environmental goals.  APEP bridges from engineering science to practical application in close collaboration with industry, agencies, and national laboratories.

About Ener-Core, Inc.
Ener-Core is the designer and manufacturer of a groundbreaking technology which enables the conversion of waste gases from a wide range of industries directly into clean power. The waste gas to energy market is a $75 billion equipment market. Ener-Core provides the opportunity for industries to no longer have to spend money complying with environmental standards and instead use these gases to generate and/or sell energy, profitably.