Money for methane manipulation

GE Energy Financial Services is diversifying its renewable energy portfolio by increasing its investment in one of the largest landfill gas-to-energy projects in the US.



GE Energy Financial Services acquired a 90 percent interest in a limited partnership that operates the Scholl Canyon Landfill gas project in Glendale from Scholl Canyon Landfill Gas Corporation, an affiliate of Palmer Capital Corporation, which will continue to manage and direct the operations.



No financial information about the transaction was disclosed.



The new GE investment, building on loans it acquired for the project in 2002, captures and uses methane, a greenhouse gas that decomposing landfill waste emits. The methane would otherwise contribute to climate change.



Clean air regulations require that the Scholl Canyon Landfill capture and destroy the gas. The project collects and treats more than 10 million cubic feet of the gas per day. The methane is then transported five miles through a pipeline to the City of Glendale’s 250-megawatt Grayson Power Plant, where it is combusted to generate electricity sufficient for 10,000 average California homes.



The project’s capture and use of methane is said to result in a reduction of 615,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to planting 150,000 acres of forest, removing more than 100,000 vehicles from the road, avoiding the use of more than 64 million gallons of petrol or turning off almost one million 100-watt light bulbs.



‘This acquisition draws upon our expertise in both renewable energy technology and project finance to help us diversify our renewable energy footprint and achieve our goal of investing $4bn by 2010 in renewable energy,’ commented Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and leader of renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services.