Ox Mountain Landfill Gas to Energy Project Begins Operation, Providing Green Energy to Nearly 12,000 Homes

Project constructed by Ameresco, Inc. reduces carbon emissions and produces 11.4 megawatts of electricity

HALF MOON BAY, Calif., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the Bay Area's largest renewable energy projects began operation today -- a landfill gas to energy station at Republic Services' Ox Mountain Landfill in Half Moon Bay. Owned and operated by a subsidiary of Ameresco, Inc., the nation's largest independent energy services company, the landfill gas to energy plant will supply enough renewable energy to customers in Alameda and Palo Alto to power more than 11,900 average-sized homes.

"The Ox Mountain Landfill gas to energy project reduces carbon emissions by making electricity out of a resource that was previously just wasted," said George Sakellaris, President, Ameresco, Inc. "It's an ideal green energy solution."

The Ox Mountain landfill has been in operation since 1976, and will continue accepting garbage for another 35 years. Landfill gas is created when organic waste in landfills decomposes, producing methane-the primary ingredient in natural gas and a greenhouse gas. The landfill gas to energy plant captures the methane and turns it into electricity for use by residential and business customers. Converting landfill gas to energy prevents the release of greenhouse gases and creates electricity from a renewable, affordable source-reducing the need for power created from fossil fuels.

"The commissioning of this significant renewable energy resource for the people of California is another example of Republic's commitment to the environment," said Jeff Andrews, Senior Vice President West Region, Republic Services, Inc. "This is a larger plant in terms of renewable electricity production from landfill gas, and also represents the current best available technology for emissions controls, making it an extremely clean renewable energy source."

The annual electricity generated by the Ox Mountain project will prevent the release of 71,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. That is the equivalent of conserving 12 million therms of natural gas per year, and reduces emissions equivalent to taking 11,800 cars off the road.

The landfill gas to energy project at Ox Mountain Landfill was designed, built and is owned by Ameresco, Inc. The Ox Mountain Landfill is owned and operated by Republic Services, Inc. The electric output of the plant will be sold to existing customers and project partners - the City of Palo Alto and the City of Alameda.

City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) is the only municipal utility in California that operates city-owned utility services for electric, fiber optic, natural gas, water and wastewater. Since 1896, CPAU has been providing quality services to the citizens and businesses of Palo Alto, including sustainable choices at competitive rates.

The City of Palo Alto has adopted goals of meeting 30% of its electric needs by 2012 and 33% by 2015 with new qualifying renewable resources like the Ox Mountain Landfill. Palo Alto's share of the project is projected to supply about 4% of the City's electric needs.

"Making use of this renewable energy resource reduces the amount of market power we have to purchase, which reduces the need for fossil fuel-powered electric generation in California," said Peter Drekmeier, Mayor of the City of Palo Alto. "By burning methane, which is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, this project has the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill."

The City of Alameda's municipal utility, Alameda Municipal Power (AMP), is the other customer for electricity generated by Ox Mountain. Ox Mountain provides approximately 11% of the electricity consumed in the East Bay community. It is one of three landfill-gas-to-energy resources presently powering Alameda. These will be joined later this year by the facility at Republic Services' Keller Canyon Landfill. By the close of 2009, some 22% of Alameda's power will be generated by landfill-gas-to-energy plants.

Alameda Municipal Power purchases 85% of its power from renewable energy resources. The City of Alameda, as a direct result of its utility's power portfolio, ranks lowest in greenhouse gas emissions in Alameda County and among the lowest in the State of California. Known as "The Greenest Little Utility in America," environmental responsibility has been a major criterion in power resource selection and development by Alameda Municipal Power since the early 1980s.

"The landfill gas to energy project at Ox Mountain allows us to offer our customers another carbon-free source of power, and continue our quarter century commitment to renewable energy," said Ann L. McCormick, P.E., President of the City of Alameda Public Utilities Board.

Both Alameda and Palo Alto have been cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for participation in developing landfill-gas-to-energy resources. Landfill-gas-to-energy utilization has been noted in other environmental awards accorded Alameda.

About Ameresco, Inc.

Ameresco, Inc. is the largest independent comprehensive energy solutions provider in North America. Headquartered in Framingham, MA, Ameresco uses innovative strategies, systems, and technologies for renewable and sustainable energy generation and infrastructure renewal, thereby reducing operating expenses, increasing energy reliability and independence while enhancing the environment. To date, Ameresco has developed, designed and/or implemented over $4 billion in energy solutions projects in North America.

About Republic Services, Inc.

Republic Services, Inc. has been building on success since its inception in 1998, becoming an industry-leading provider of waste and environmental services. The company provides trash collection services to commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers in 40 states and Puerto Rico through its 400 collection companies. Republic Services owns or operates 242 transfer stations, 213 solid waste landfills and 78 recycling facilities. The company is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona and has more than 34,000 employees. For more information, visit the Republic Services web site at www.republicservices.com.

About Alameda Municipal Power

At 122 years of service, Alameda Municipal Power is the oldest municipal electric power utility west of the Mississippi River. Its service territory includes the City of Alameda and its 79,000 residents, as well as its thriving business sector. Its power portfolio, that is typically over 80% clean and renewable, is a major reason that the City of Alameda is the lowest greenhouse-gas-emitting community in Alameda County and one of the lowest in the State. Rates for electric power are also approximately 20% lower that those in surrounding areas. For more information, please log on to www.alamedamp.com.

About City of Palo Alto Utilities

Established in 1896, the City of Palo Alto Utilities now provides Electric, Natural Gas, Water, Waste Water collection and Dark Fiber services to its customers. The service territory includes approximately 60,000 residents and a thriving business and high tech sector adjacent to Stanford University. Its power portfolio, typically about 50% hydro electric and 20% qualifying renewables provides a low carbon resource supplemented by market purchases that are being reduced by new renewable projects. Rates for electric power are lower than those in surrounding areas. For more information, please log on to www.cityofpaloalto.org

SOURCE Ameresco, Inc.