Dozens of people gathered at the Bowerman Power Renewable Energy Project for the official ribbon cutting on Tuesday.
The $60-million facility is located in a corner of the massive Bowerman Landfill. As the trash decomposes, it creates large amounts of methane gas. Before, the landfill would just burn it off. But now, the plant captures it, cleans it up using a thorough process and turns it into energy.
"It's a pioneer in its use of gas cleanup, reciprocating engines and emissions cleanup on the back end - a first here in California," said David Herrman with Montauk Energy.
Montauk Energy, the developer on the project, said new technology has made the process more affordable and more efficient for such projects. Anaheim Public Utilities is buying all the power from the plant.
"Here we are producing 20 megawatts of power, which is enough to power over 20,000 homes with clean, renewable energy," said Dukku Lee with Anaheim Public Utilities.
The utility said it won't cost ratepayers more than what they're already paying. Project leaders said the most important benefit is leaving a smaller mark on the environment.
Anaheim Public Utilities has a 20-year agreement with the plant.