Garbage-to-Electricity Plant Coming to Glendale; $110M Project Will Convert 180K Tons of Trash Yearly, Says Abengoa

Abengoa, the Spanish renewable-energy giant, will build a $110 million garbage-to-electricity plant in Glendale for Chicao's VIESTE Energy, Abengoa announced Monday.

The plant, which will be sited at the Glendale Municipal Landfill, 11480 West Glendale Avenue, will convert about 180,000 tons of sorted trash (including plastics) annually, an Abengoa news release states. Each day, a gasification process will turn that trash into "up to 350 tons" of gas, which is then burned under strict emission controls to produce about 15 megawatts of electricity. (One megawatt can power 500 to 1,000 homes, depending on each home's energy usage.)

Abengoa's the company building the 300-megawatt-capacity Solana concentrated solar plant near Gila Bend with the help of a $1.45 billion loan guarantee.

Glendale officials have been working to land the project in their city for more than a year.

Modern biogas plants are popular in Europe, which has more than 400 of them, says an article about the project on

Besides taking useless garbage and turning it into electricity that can run pool filters and Tesla sedans, the project will create 50 jobs over a construction period of about 20 months, Abengoa says.

Sounds great -- but contractors ought to be sure and get paid up front. As Ryan Randazzo of the Arizona Republic reported last month, contracting companies on the Solana project say Abengoa has failed to pay about $16 million in bills for their work.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.