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Project Profile

Johnson & Johnson/ALZA and Mountain View Landfill Gas Energy Project

Mountain View, California
End User(s):
ALZA Corporation
Shoreline Landfill at Mountain View
Landfill Size:
11.8 million tons waste-in-place (1998)
Project Type:
Combined Heat and Power (cogeneration) (3 x 970 kilowatt generators)
Project Size:
2.9 megawatts (MW) and 25 million British thermal units per hour (MMBtu/hr)
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 5,000 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 4,400 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 54,100 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 1,700 homes and heating 2,700 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0063 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
SCS Engineers and SCS Field Services
Last Updated:

When challenged to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 21.5 million pounds per year, ALZA Pharmaceuticals turned green—green for energy, that is. With a closed 150-acre municipal landfill next door, ALZA proposed to the city of Mountain View, California a landfill gas (LFG) energy project that would use LFG to heat and power ALZA's research and development facilities. The city agreed and entered a 15-year contract to sell the LFG.

Developers attribute success to developing a relationship with the city of Mountain View, whose city council agreed the project was a high priority. Plus, ALZA was able to secure internal approval in less than five weeks, largely because it had sought buy-in from within Johnson & Johnson, its parent company.

The project's highlights include the following:

  • 1.25-mile pipeline connects Shoreline Landfill to ALZA
  • 15-year contract for purchase of LFG
  • $2.5 million grant from Pacific Gas & Electric

ALZA estimates the project will save 16 million pounds per year of carbon dioxide emissions through avoided electricity and natural gas consumption, thus accounting for over 70 percent of its annual GHG reduction target.

The community and the environment are benefiting through decreased CO2 emissions, ALZA Corporation is achieving energy and financial savings, and the City of Mountain View is making use of and receiving revenue for an otherwise unused resource. This truly is a win-win partnership, and we hope it can serve as a model for other regions across the country. —Michael Jackson, ALZA Corporation, President

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