Gas from garbage

Department of Water Resources invests in alternative energy sources

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has struck new deals with landfill-gas and geothermal plants to help power the state’s water-pumping infrastructure.

DWR signed a contract with The Geysers geothermal field near Middletown and a gas-to-energy plant at Ox Mountain Landfill in Half Moon Bay to purchase a total of 33 megawatts of energy through 2016, according to The Sacramento Bee. The move is part of the department’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050, as mandated by state law. The State Water Project, which includes Oroville Dam and the California Aqueduct, accounts for about 3 percent of California’s energy consumption and has relied on coal-fired power plants for decades.

Earlier this year, DWR announced it would not renew a long-term contract with a coal-fueled plant in Nevada.